hammer toe deformity is a contracture of the toe(s). In this condition,
the toe is bent at the middle joint, so that it is buckled or
hammered. Initially, hammer toes are flexible and can be corrected
with simple measures but, if left untreated, they can become fixed
and require surgery.
with hammer toes may have corns or calluses on the top of the
middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe. They may also
feel pain in their toes or feet and have difficulty finding comfortable
of hammer toes
Hammer toes result from shoes that donít fit properly or a muscle
imbalance, usually in combination with one or more other factors.
Muscles work in pairs to straighten and bend the toes. If the
toe is bent and held in one position long enough, the muscles
tighten and cannot stretch out. Shoes that narrow toward the toe
may make your forefoot look smaller. But they also push the smaller
toes into a flexed (bent) position. The toes rub against the shoe,
leading to the formation of corns and calluses, which further
aggravate the condition. A higher heel forces the foot down and
squishes the toes against the shoe, increasing the pressure and
the bend in the toe. Eventually, the toe muscles become unable
to straighten the toe, even when there is no confining shoe.
for hammer toes
Conservative treatment starts with new shoes that have soft, roomy
toe boxes. Shoes should be one-half inch longer than your longest
toe. (Note: For many people, the second toe is longer than the
big toe.) Avoid wearing tight, narrow, high-heeled shoes. You
may also be able to find a shoe with a deep toe box that accommodates
the hammer toe. Or, a shoe repair shop may be able to stretch
the toe box so that it bulges out around the toe. Sandals may
help, as long as they do not pinch or rub other areas of the foot.
doctor may recommend that you use commercially available straps,
cushions or nonmedicated corn pads to relieve symptoms. You
should try to avoid all medicated corn pads as they usually do
more harm than good. If you have diabetes,
poor circulation or a lack of feeling in your feet, avoid any
forms of self-treatment and visit a podiatrist..
toes can be corrected by surgery if conservative measures fail.
Usually, surgery is done on an outpatient basis with a local anesthetic.
The actual procedure will depend on the type and extent of the
deformity. After the surgery, there may be some stiffness, swelling
and redness and the toe may be slightly longer or shorter than
before. You will be able to walk, but should not plan any long
hikes while the toe heals, and should keep your foot elevated
as much as possible.