can affect any of the toes on the foot except the big toe, though the most common toe to suffer is
the second one. While the smallest toe can be affected, the condition causes the toe to twist out to the side rather than to curl forward. Hammertoe is not very discriminating; it may appear on all
four toes of the foot or on only one toe, depending on the cause.
This condition is greatly influenced by the footwear we choose. Ladies who wear high heels are a perfect example. High heels force the toes to overlap and bend at the middle joint of the toe,
resulting in hammertoe. But high heels are not the only culprits. Anyone who wears shoes that are too tight is increasing their risk of developing hammertoe. This progressive condition, which will
only get better with treatment, can cause pain as the toes are forced to bend unnaturally.
Common reasons patients seek treatment for toe problems are toe pain on the knuckle. Thick toe calluses. Interference with walking/activities. Difficulty fitting shoes. Worsening toe deformity. Pain
at the ball of the foot. Unsightly appearance. Toe deformities (contractures) come in varying degrees of severity, from slight to severe. The can be present in conjunction with a bunion, and develop
onto a severe disfiguring foot deformity. Advanced cases, the toe can dislocate on top of the foot. Depending on your overall health, symptoms and severity of the hammer toe, the condition may be
treated conservatively and/or with surgery.
First push up on the bottom of the metatarsal head associated with the affected toe and see if the toe straightens out. If it does, then an orthotic could correct the problem, usually with a
metatarsal pad. If the toe does not straighten out when the metatarsal head is pushed up, then that indicates that contracture in the capsule and ligaments (capsule contracts because the joint was in
the wrong position for too long) of the MTP joint has set in and surgery is required. Orthotics are generally hammertoe
Non Surgical Treatment
Your podiatrist may recommend conservative treatment techniques for your hammertoes based on your foot structure, which will likely involve removing any thick, painful skin, padding your painful
area, and recommending for you shoes that give your curled toes adequate room. Conservative care strategies for this health purpose may also involve the use of Correct Toes, our toe straightening and
toe spacing device.
If conservative treatments don't help, your doctor may recommend surgery to release the tendon that's preventing your toe from lying flat. In some cases, your doctor might also remove some pieces of
bone to straighten your toe.