The term Hammer toe
describes three unique contracture deformities of the toes. The deformities
differ by the location of contracture in each joint of the toe. The three deformities include hammer toe, claw toe and mallet toe. Hammer toes may be flexible or rigid. Hammer toes are most common on
the lesser toes (2-5) and may affect one or more toes simultaneously. Hallux malleus is the term used to described a hammer toe of the great toe. Hallux malleus is often found as an isolated foot
problem. Hammer toes are found equally in men and women. The onset of hammer toes is between the ages of 30 and 80 years of age.
Wearing shoes that squeeze the toes or high heels that jam the toes into the front of the shoe. Other causes or factors in the development of hammertoes can include an injury such as badly stubbing
your toe, arthritis and nerve and muscle damage from diseases such as diabetes. And, hammertoes tend to run in families, although it is more likely the faulty foot mechanics that lead to hammertoes
that are inherited, not the hammertoes themselves. Hammertoe generally affect the smaller toes of the foot, especially the second toe, which for many people is the longest toe. It's uncommon for the
big toe to be bent this way.
If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to hammer toe. Talk to your doctor about symptoms such as a toe that curls down, corns on the top of a toe, calluses on the sole of the foot
or bottom hammertoe
of the toe, pain in the middle joint of a toe, discomfort on the top of a toe,
difficulty finding any shoes that fit comfortably, cramping in a toe, and sometimes also the foot and leg, difficult or painful motion of a toe joint, pain in the ball of the foot or at the base of a
Some questions your doctor may ask of you include, when did you first begin having foot problems? How much pain are your feet or toes causing you? Where is the pain located? What, if anything, seems
to improve your symptoms? What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms? What kind of shoes do you normally wear? Your doctor can diagnose hammertoe or mallet toe by examining your foot. Your
doctor may also order X-rays to further evaluate the bones and joints of your feet and toes.
Non Surgical Treatment
If the problem is caught in the early stages you can avoid hammer toe surgery. One of the easiest methods of treatment is to manipulate the toe out of a bent position then splint and buddy wrap it
alongside it?s larger neighbour. This method of hammer toe taping will help the problem to fix itself. Make sure the toe isn?t resuming its bent shape during the recovery. To alleviate some of the
painful symptoms of hammer toe avoid wearing high heels or shoes that cramp or stifle your feet. Choosing a pair of minimalist shoes can be an excellent choice for both foot and postural health.
Wearing shoes that give the toes plenty of space and are comfortable lined is also a smart choice. Hammer toe recovery starts be treating the toe respectfully. Soft insoles or protection for the corn
can also provide additional assistance.
If this fails or if treatment is not sought until the toes are permanently misaligned, then surgery may be required. Surgery may involve either cutting the tendon or fusing the joint. Congenital
conditions should be treated in early childhood with manipulations and splinting.