most commonly affects the second toe on the foot. It causes the
middle joint to bend. Hammertoe is most frequently caused by structural problems in the toe or from wearing poor fitting shoes. It is important to diagnose and treat hammertoe early because the
condition tends to become worse over time. If left untreated, hammertoe can require surgery.
Most hammertoes are caused by wearing ill-fitting, tight or high-heeled shoes over a long period of time. Shoes that don't fit well can crowd the toes, putting pressure on the middle toes and causing
them to curl downward. The condition may be more likely when the second toe is longer than the first toe or when the arch of the foot is flat. Hammertoe can also be present at birth (congenital).
Hammertoe also can be caused by a bunion, which is the knobby bump that sometimes develops at the side of the big toe. A bunion causes the big toe to bend toward the other toes. The big toe can then
overlap and crowd the smaller toes. Occasionally, a hammertoe is inherited or caused by arthritis in the toe joint.
Hammer, claw, and mallet toes can cause discomfort and pain and may make it hard to walk. Shoes may rub on your toes, causing pain, blisters, calluses or corns, or sores. Sores can become infected
and lead to cellulitis or osteomyelitis, especially if you have diabetes or peripheral Hammer toes
disease. If you have one of these health problems and sores develop, contact your doctor.
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 required post-surgically.
Non Surgical Treatment
If the problem is caught in the early stages you can avoid hammer toe surgery. One of the easiest methods of treatment is to manipulate the toe out of a bent position then splint and buddy wrap it
alongside it?s larger neighbour. This method of hammer toe taping will help the problem to fix itself. Make sure the toe isn?t resuming its bent shape during the recovery. To alleviate some of the
painful symptoms of hammer toe avoid wearing high heels or shoes that cramp or stifle your feet. Choosing a pair of minimalist shoes can be an excellent choice for both foot and postural health.
Wearing shoes that give the toes plenty of space and are comfortable lined is also a smart choice. Hammer toe recovery starts be treating the toe respectfully. Soft insoles or protection for the corn
can also provide additional assistance.
Surgery to straighten the toe may be needed if an ulcer has formed on either the end or the top surface of the toe. Surgery sometimes involves cutting the tendons that support movement in the toe so
that the toe can be straightened. Cutting the tendons, however, takes away the ability to bend the very end of the toe. Another type of surgery combines temporary insertion of a pin or rod into the
toe and alteration or repair of the tendons, so that the toe is straightened. After surgery, the deformity rarely recurs.