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Author Topic: Hammer Toe  (Read 195 times)

Demisam

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Hammer Toe
« on: April 12, 2018, 11:04:49 am »
      Hammer Toe
A hammertoe is a deformity that causes your toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward. This deformity can affect any toe on your foot; however, it most often affects the second toe or third toe. Although a hammertoe may be present at birth, it usually develops over time due to wearing ill-fitting shoes or arthritis. In most cases, a hammertoe is treatable.

What Causes a Hammertoe to Form?

Your toe contains two joints that allow it to bend at the middle and bottom. A hammertoe occurs when the middle joint becomes dislocated.

Common causes of this joint dislocation include:

a toe injury
arthritis
a high foot arch
wearing shoes that don’t fit properly
tightened ligaments or tendons in the foot
pressure from a bunion (when your big toe points inward toward your second toe)
Spinal cord or peripheral nerve damage may cause all of your toes to curl downward.

Risk Factors for a Hammertoe

Certain risk factors increase your likelihood of developing a hammertoe. These include:

a family history of hammertoes
wearing tight or pointy-toed shoes
wearing shoes that are too small
having calluses, bunions, or corns (thickened layers of skin caused by prolonged/repeated friction)
Wearing shoes that are too small can force the joint of your toes into a dislocated position. This makes it impossible for your muscles to stretch out. Over time, the practice of wearing improperly fitting shoes increases your risk of developing hammertoes, blisters, bunions, and corns.

Signs and Symptoms

A hammertoe causes you discomfort when you walk. It can also cause you pain when trying to stretch or move the affected toe or those around it. Hammertoe symptoms may be mild or severe.

Mild Symptoms

a toe that is bent downward
corns or calluses
Severe Symptoms

difficulty walking
the inability to flex your foot or wiggle your toes
claw-like toes
See your doctor or podiatrist right away if you develop any of these symptoms.

How Is a Hammertoe Treated?

Treatment options for a hammertoe are based on the severity of the condition.

Treatment for a Mild Hammertoe

A hammertoe caused by inappropriate footwear can be corrected by wearing properly fitting shoes. If a high arch caused the condition, wearing toe pads or insoles in your shoes can help. These pads work by shifting your toe’s position, which relieves pain and corrects the appearance of your toe.

You can usually use over-the-counter cushions, pads, or medications to treat bunions and corns. However, if they are painful or if they have caused your toes to become deformed, your doctor may opt to surgically remove them.

If you have blisters on your toes, do not pop them. Popping blisters can cause pain and infection. Use over-the-counter creams and cushions to relieve pain and keep blisters from rubbing against the inside of your shoes.

Gently stretching your toes can also help relieve pain and reposition the affected toe.

Treatment for a Severe Hammertoe

If you are unable to flex your toe, surgery is the only option to restore movement. Surgery is used to reposition the toe, remove deformed or injured bone, and realign your tendons. Surgery is normally done on an outpatient basis, so you can return home on the day of your surgery.

 

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