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Hammertoes specialist in the Wayne County, MI: Detroit (Hamtramck, River Rouge, Dearborn, Melvindale, Highland Park, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, Redford Charter Twp)

Hammertoe Diagnosis & Treatment

Hammertoes get their name due to the abnormal appearance of the toe, in which it bends down like a hammer. A hammertoe’s shape is formed by a deformed bending in the toe’s middle joint. There are many factors that play into how hammertoes form. Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, jamming, or breaking it, can make the toe more susceptible to developing into a hammertoe. Age and gender also influence the likelihood of getting a hammertoe. Women have also been known to be more likely to develop a hammertoe compared to men. You’re also more likely to develop this condition as you age. Certain diseases, such as arthritis and diabetes, have been known to influence the likelihood of forming a hammertoe.

Common Causes of Hammertoes and its Prevention

The shoes that are most likely to cause hammertoe are high heeled shoes or shoes that are too tight in the toe box. Tight shoes will force your toes to crowd together in a curled position. This position will likely continue when you take your shoes off. Another cause of hammertoes is trauma. When you stub your toe, for example, you are increasing your chance of developing a hammertoe.

Hammertoes can be painful as well as incredibly uncomfortable. To help ease these symptoms, it may be beneficial to wear orthotics. Custom orthotics are used to help realign the toe structure and aid in the process of healing. Certain injections may be recommended by a podiatrist as well to help alleviate the pain. To prevent being afflicted by this condition, it’s recommended that you wear shoes that leave enough room for your toes and continually change your footwear as your feet change in size.

Many different foot problems can be avoided by wearing shoes that have adjustability, adequate toe room, and low heels. Furthermore, if you want to buy new shoes, you should look to purchase them at the end of the day and make sure you know your correct size. The reason behind buying shoes at the end of the day is that your feet swell as the day progresses. You should also ensure that you are wearing your correct size because your shoe size may change as you grow older.

To diagnose someone with hammertoe, your podiatrist will need to conduct a thorough examination of your foot. Your doctor may even order an x-ray to evaluate the bones and joints of your feet and toes.

If you’d like more information on hammertoes and how to best treat the condition, we recommend you speak with a podiatrist for professional care and advice.

Hammertoes (FAQs)

What is hammertoe? 
A hammertoe is a type of deformity in which the second, third, fourth, or pinky toes are bent downwards at the middle joint. This gives the toe a hammer-like shape, hence the name. In its early stages, a hammertoe may be flexible and can be straightened. Over time, the affected toe can lose its flexibility and become permanently fixed in a bent position. 
What are the symptoms of hammertoe? 
Other than its characteristic hammer-like shape, symptoms of a hammertoe may include pain, inflammation, redness, a burning sensation, joint stiffness, and corns and calluses on the affected toes. In severe cases, open sores can form on the toes as they rub up against your shoes. Symptoms may be mild at first but can get worse over time. 
What causes hammertoe? 
Hammertoe is typically caused by a muscle and tendon imbalance, which leads to the toe bending. This problem can be made worse by wearing shoes that are too tight and narrow, particularly in the toe area. In some cases, injury or trauma to the toes can lead to hammertoe. This condition can also be genetic. 
Can hammertoe go away on its own? 
Hammertoe can not go away without treatment. It typically gets worse over time, although the rate at which it worsens varies from person to person. Seeking treatment is important to stop or slow the progression, relieve symptoms, and - if needed - to straighten the affected toes. 
What are the treatments for hammertoe? 
In mild and moderate cases, especially if the affected toes are still flexible, conservative treatments are suggested. These can include footwear and activity modifications, wearing orthotics, and taking medications to relieve pain and inflammation. In more severe cases, where the affected toes have become very painful, rigid, or has open sores, surgery may be recommended. 

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Advanced Podiatric Procedures & Services in the Lucas County, OH: Toledo (Ottawa Hills, Silica, Holland, Shoreland, Oregon, Harbor View, Maumee) and Wayne County, MI: Detroit (Hamtramck, River Rouge, Dearborn, Melvindale, Highland Park, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, Redford Charter Twp) and Wood County, OH: Rossford, Northwood, Walbridge areas