A Hammer toe
is a toe that becomes permanently bent in the middle so that the end of the toe
points downward. The portion of the toe before the joint where the bend occurs tends to arch upward. A hammer toe takes years to develop. Once the toe becomes permanently bent, corns or calluses may
form. Treatment helps control symptoms in many people, but surgery is sometimes needed to straighten the toe.
While there are a number of causes, there aren't many specific risk factors for hammertoes, women tend to get these problems more than men, but they occur without rhyme or reason. Diabetics, however,
are more likely to get a hammertoe if they have underlying nerve damage in the toes and feet.
A toe stuck in an upside-down "V" is probably a hammertoe. Some symptoms are, pain at the top of the bent toe when putting on a shoe. Corns forming on the top of the toe joint. The toe joint swelling
and taking on an angry red colour. Difficulty in moving the toe joint and pain when you try to so. Pain on the ball of the foot under the bent toe. Seek medical advice if your feet regularly hurt,
you should see a doctor or podiatrist. If you have a hammertoe, you probably need medical attention. Ask your doctor for a referral to a podiatrist or foot surgeon. Act now, before the problem gets
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 hammertoes
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
Try to find shoes that are soft, roomy, and comfortable and avoid tight shoes or shoes with high heels. A shoe repair shop may be able to stretch a small pocket in regular shoes to make room for the
hammertoe. Have a professional pedicure. Sometimes a skilled manicurist can file down a painful corn. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions. Ask your provider what activities you should
avoid and when you can return to your normal activities, how to take care of yourself at home, what symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them. Make sure you know when
you should come back for a checkup.
If your hammer, claw, or mallet toe gets worse, or if nonsurgical treatment does not help your pain, you may think about surgery. The type of surgery you choose depends on how severe your condition
is and whether the toe joint is fixed (has no movement) or flexible (has some movement). A fixed toe joint often requires surgery to be straightened. A flexible toe joint can sometimes be
straightened without surgery. Surgery choices include Phalangeal head resection (arthroplasty), in which the surgeon removes part of the toe bone. Joint fusion (arthrodesis), in which the surgeon
removes part of the joint, letting the toe bones grow together (fuse). Cutting supporting tissue or moving tendons in the toe joint. How well surgery works depends on what type of surgery you have,
how experienced your surgeon is, and how badly your toes are affected.