What are Hammertoes?

By University Foot Center
October 10, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Hammertoes  

Find out if your foot deformity could actually be a hammertoe.hammertoes

Have you noticed that your toes are starting to look more bent or curled than usual? This could be a sign of hammertoes. A hammertoe happens when the muscles of the feet are weak or imbalanced, which causes certain tendons in the feet to shorten and the affected toes to bend. Our Columbus, OH, podiatrists Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl are here to tell you more about hammertoes and why you shouldn’t just ignore the issue.

There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. In the beginning stages, hammertoes are flexible. This means that you are able to straighten out the toe and move the toe. If the hammertoe becomes rigid it means that the joint is immovable.

What causes hammertoes?

There are many factors that can lead to this muscular imbalance in the feet include:

  • Age
  • Wearing tight or poorly fitted shoes (a common factor)
  • Heredity
  • An injury to the foot
  • Arthritis

What are the symptoms of hammertoes?

Besides the obvious sign that the affected toe will be bent or curled under, those with a hammertoe may also notice:

  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Difficulty or discomfort when moving the affected toe
  • Pain when wearing shoes
  • A corn on the top of the toe

When should you turn to a doctor?

It’s important to call our Columbus, OH, foot doctors if you are experiencing pain or other symptoms that could mean that you have a hammertoe. The sooner you seek care and treatment the better. By offering up simple measures you can take everyday to improve foot hygiene we could prevent the hammertoe from progressing into a rigid joint.

By avoiding heels and only wearing shoes that give your toes enough room to move around you could prevent this condition from getting worse. You can also apply a protective pad over the hammertoe to prevent it from rubbing against shoes.

If the hammertoe is rigid or isn’t responding to these conservative measures then surgery may be the only option for correcting the deformity.

If you are dealing with foot problems it’s important that you turn to the University Foot Center in Columbus, OH, for help. Whether you are dealing with a rigid hammertoe or bunions, we can provide you with the care you need.


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