Hammer toe

Hammertoe is a bending condition of one or two joints of the little toes either second, third, fourth or fifth and moreover, this is an abnormal bending which can place pressure on the toe while wearing the shoes and causes problem to develop. Usually, hammertoes begin with a mild deformity and get worse as the time passes on. Earlier during the time of its beginning, it is flexible and the signs and symptoms are managed with noninvasive procedures. If left untreated, may become rigid and fails to respond to any of the applied non surgical treatments. Due to its progressive nature, early attention is required.

What are the causes of Hammer toe?

The main cause of this hammer toe is an imbalance in a muscle or tendon, which leads to the bending of the toe. It results mainly due to structural changes in the foot, which occurs as the time pass on in some of the individuals. It is found that it happens due to wearing of unfit shoes which may result due to long toes and cramped position.

What are the symptoms?

The general symptoms include:

  • Irritation or pain in the affected toe mainly when wearing shoes
  • Corns and calluses on the toe or between the toes or on the orb of the foot.
  • Causes redness, burning sensation and inflammation.
  • Contracture of the toe and
  • In some of the cases of hammer toe, there is a chance to form open sores.

How to diagnose the problem?

Hammer toe is readily clear to view and diagnosis of it is essential for the surgeon to examine it. During the physical test, your physician tries to reproduce your felt symptoms by controlling your foot and will study the contractures of the toes. Besides this, x-rays are taken by the ankle surgeon and physician to determine the level of deformities and note any changes which have occurred.

What are the treatments for Hammertoe?

There are surgical and non-surgical treatments advised based upon the condition of the toe. In case of nonsurgical treatment the advised healing process is:

  • Calluses and padding corns
  • Changes in shoe wear
  • Orthotic devices to control the imbalance of muscle
  • Injection therapy and
  • Medications

In case of surgical treatments, it is recommended when the pain becomes severe and feels difficult to walk including other factors.