A hammertoe is considered to be a deformity of the foot. It is also referred to as a “contracted toe” and is most likely noticed on the second and third toes. In severe cases, it can resemble a hammer, because the middle joint in the second toe bends in a downward direction. This deformity can happen for a variety of reasons. These can include having high arches, wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, and prior toe injuries. Additionally, medical conditions such as arthritis and bunions may play a significant role in developing hammertoe. Mild relief can be found when the toes are gently stretched and wiggled, and it can help to wear shoes that have ample room in the toe area. Patients with a severe case of hammertoe may choose surgery, which can permanently straighten the toe. If you are afflicted with this condition, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. James Kutchback of James Kutchback, DPM, ABLES, CWS-P. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.
- Painful and/or difficult toe movement
- Joint stiffness
- Physical deformity
- Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
- Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
- Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
- Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe
If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in The Woodlands and Woodville, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs. Read more about Hammertoe