One of the more common foot ailments is something called a Hammertoe. What is a Hammertoe? A Hammertoe is a toe deformity caused by an imbalance of the muscles and ligaments in the affected toe.
Symptoms of a Hammertoe include:
- A bend of the toe usually at the first joint in the second, third and fourth toes
- Difficulty moving the toe or toes
- Corns or calluses – may develop
Other causes of a Hammertoe include:
- Injury – can cause the toe to bend by the weakening the muscles and ligaments in that toe
- Ill-fitting shoes – shoes which do not allow for enough room can squeeze your toes together causing them to bend
- Arthritis – can help develop a bent toe
- High arch – can put undue pressure on your toes
Risk factors for a Hammertoe include:
- Age – The older the person, the greater the possibility they will develop a Hammertoe
- Sex – women are at greater risk to develop a Hammertoe
- Length of toe – the longer the toe the more likely the toe will bend
- Heredity – having a relative with a Hammertoe can increase your chances of developing one yourself
- Diabetes – a condition where your blood sugar levels are too high
Ways to prevent a Hammertoes:
- Proper fitting footwear – make sure there is enough room in the toe section. No pointed footwear
- Low heels – will help prevent toes from jamming
- Verify your shoe size
- See your podiatrist on a regular basis – your podiatrist can tell if you’re developing a hammertoe
While not the most serious of foot problems, Hammertoes can be painful especially if they develop a bunion, corn or callus. For these reasons and others, it is very important to check your feet every now and then to make sure they are healthy and strong.
Treatments for a Hammertoe include wearing roomier shoes that allow your toes to move, exercise your toes and surgery that releases the affected ligaments and/or muscles.
If you believe you have developed or are developing a Hammertoe or have any other concerns with your feet, make an appointment to see us here at Foot and Ankle Specialists, PC in our Monroe office at 734-241-0200 or at our Lambertville office at 734-856-8900. Doctors Scott E. Hughes, Greg P. Vogt, and Christine I. Tumele will get your feet back to health.