is a misshapen toe. The middle joint of the toe bends up in a way that makes the toe look
like it is forming an upside-down V. The bent joint may rub the top of your shoe. Hammertoes can develop on any toe, but they usually happen in the second toe. Claw toes or mallet toes look a lot
like hammertoes, but a different joint in the toe is bent. Hammertoes usually are not painful at first. When they begin, they can be pushed down to the correct position. These are called flexible
hammertoes. After a while, they will not go back to their normal position, even if pushed with the fingers. These are called rigid hammertoes.
People who are born with long bones in their toes are more likely to develop hammer toe. Children who wear shoes they have outgrown may develop this condition. People who wear very narrow shoes or
high-heeled shoes are also more likely to develop a hammer toe. Sometimes, pressure from a bunion can cause hammer toe. Rheumatoid arthritis is another a risk factor.
Pain on the bottom of your foot, especially under the ball of your foot, is one of the most common symptoms associated with hammertoes. Other common signs and symptoms of hammertoes include pain at
the top of your bent toe from footwear pressure. Corns on the top of your bent toe. Redness and swelling in your affected area. Decreased joint range of motion in your affected toe joints.
Your doctor is very likely to be able to diagnose your hammertoe simply by examining your foot. Even before that, he or she will probably ask about your family and personal medical history and
evaluate your gait as you walk and the types of shoes you wear. You'll be asked about your symptoms, when they started and when they occur. You may also be asked to flex your toe so that your doctor
can get an idea of your range of hammertoe
motion. He or she may order
x-rays in order to better define your deformity.
Non Surgical Treatment
Your doctor will decide what type of hammertoe you have and rule out other medical conditions. Treatment may range from more appropriate footgear to periodic trimming and padding of the corn.
Cortisone injections may be indicated if a bursitis is present. Antibiotics may be utilized in the presence of infection. Removable accommodative pads may be made for you.
In some cases, usually when the hammertoe has become more rigid and painful, or when an open sore has developed, surgery is needed. Often patients with hammertoe have bunions or other foot
deformities corrected at the same time. In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, the foot and ankle surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your
deformity, the number of toes involved, your age, your activity level, and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.