It is a painful condition of the feet. It is often experienced by women who wear high-heels or narrow shoes. These types of shoes place pressure on the toes and push them toward the front of the shoes. This causes the middle joint of the toes to bend. When this condition occurs in the top joint of the toes (nearest to the toe nails) rather than the middle joint, it is known as mallet toe.
An obvious, visible sign of hammer toe or mallet toe is an abnormal bend in the joint of the toe. It can occur in just one of the toes, or multiple toes. It can be painful to move the toe that is affected, and corns and calluses can develop there.
Many different factors can cause Hammer toe. A frequent culprit is the wearing of high heels or other shoes that are too small or particularly narrow through the toe box. When the toes are forced into a small space, they can become curled. If the toes are placed into this position repeatedly, the curling can become permanent.
If the patient have broken toe or nerve damage, then the chances are more likely to develop hammer toe in that toe later on. Nerve damage can be caused by medical conditions such as stroke or diabetes. Rheumatoid arthritis is another condition which can cause a variety of foot deformities, including hammer toe.
Early in the process of getting a hammer toe, the toe might still be fairly flexible. Patient can flex the toe and make it lay flat if wearing roomy shoes.
Overtime, though, the toe’s tendons often get tighter and contract. Then it becomes more difficult to stretch the toe out, regardless of whether the patient is wearing the roomy shoes. The toe might get very stiff and stay that way. Calluses or corns can develop as a result of the toe rubbing against shoes.
If you have hammer toes, you should visit your doctor. He /she will examine your feet, and might also take X-Rays.
The course of treatment varies depending upon how far hammer toe has progressed.
If it is still fairly flexible, the patient should wear better shoes that offer more space in the toe box coupled with custom arch supports. This will ensure that your feet are properly supported and minimize the progression of the hammer toe.
In addition, patient can do at-home exercises to strengthen and stretch toes. Try some simple activities like picking up a towel or marbles off the floor using the toes.
If these steps do not relieve the pain, talk to your doctor. He/She might recommend surgical treatment. Options include a surgery that releases the tendon so the toe can lay flat again, as well as reducing the length of the bone in order to straighten the toe.
Last Modified : 2/20/2020