A hammertoe is a toe joint that bends upward permanently. Hammertoe can occur in all toes except your big toes. Hammertoes are typically a minor deformity in the beginning, but they significantly worsen if untreated.
Hammertoe doesn’t go away on its own. Once a hammertoe is well established, it's very difficult to correct it without surgery. If you're dealing with a hammertoe, sooner is always better for treatment.
Hammertoes are caused mainly by muscle and tendon imbalance. The imbalance causes the instability that leads to the toe bending upwards. Other possible causes of hammertoe include trauma to the toe and genetics. Some kinds of shoes, mainly shoes with a constricting toe box like high heels or shoes that fit badly, can aggravate a hammertoe.
Some signs of hammertoe to watch for include:
In severe hammertoe, you could even develop open sores that don't heal on top of your toe. If you have the signs of hammertoe, don't delay in seeing a Foot and Ankle Specialists podiatrist for help.
Diagnosis usually includes a thorough foot exam, gentle foot manipulation, and X-ray images to determine how severe the bone deformities are. With this information in hand, your Foot and Ankle Specialists podiatrist creates a custom treatment solution for your hammertoe.
Hammertoes can often be treated with a noninvasive approach, as long as you seek treatment early. Your treatment may include one or more of the following.
If your hammertoe is rigid and immovable, your podiatrist may need to perform surgery to remove excess bone, realign the toe, and correct other issues like non-healing wounds at the same time.
For relief from hammertoes, use the online scheduling tool or call the location of Foot and Ankle Specialists nearest you today.