The Hammer toe
condition is usually irreversible, but often its progression can be slowed or halted. You should visit a
Podiatrist if the toe becomes painful and you have difficulty walking. A Podiatrist will be able to provide advice and treatment including padding the bony top-part of your hammertoe to relieve pain
or to tape your toes as a way to change their position. Podiatrists have an important role to play in preventing and managing foot problems. Prompt action is important. Problems which are left
without assessment or treatment may result in major health risks.
Those fashionable shoes. Women tend to cram their feet into too-narrow, ill-fitting shoes with little to no arch support. That?s why we see more hammertoes in women than men. Pointy, high-heeled
shoes put severe pressure on the toes and their joints, and they typically have little to no arch support. Neuromuscular diseases can contribute to the development of hammertoe, too. People with
diabetes can be at increased risk for complications from a hammertoe. In diabetics, if a toe has a corn or other ulceration, it indicates there is too much pressure on the toes. In those with poor
blood flow or neuropathy, these lesions can get infected and lead to the loss of a toe or foot unless shoes are modified.
Hammer, claw, and mallet toes can cause Hammer toes
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 arterial disease. If you have one of these health problems and sores develop, contact your doctor.
Hammertoes are progressive, they don?t go away by themselves and usually they will get worse over time. However, not all cases are alike, some hammertoes progress more rapidly than others. Once your
foot and ankle surgeon has evaluated your hammertoes, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.
Non Surgical Treatment
In the early stages, the deformities from mallet toe, claw toe and hammertoe can be corrected. But if treatment is delayed too long, permanent stiffness can ensue which can only be corrected by
surgery. The most effective treatment options are good fitting footwear. Shoes with a wide toebox will be more comfortable and will reduce the tension on the muscles and friction on the toes. Avoid
high heels as they push your feet forwards to the front of the shoes. This increases the pressure on the toes, forcing them to bend more than usual. Shoes should ideally be half an inch longer than
your longest toe. Exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles can be really helpful. Simple things like trying to pick marbles up with your feet or scrunching up a towel underneath your foot can
Surgery to correct for a hammertoe may be performed as an outpatient procedure at a hospital, surgery center, or in the office of your podiatrist. There are multiple procedures that can be used
depending on your individual foot structure and whether the deformity is flexible or rigid. There may be a surgical cut in the bone to get rid of an exostosis, or a joint may be completely removed to
allow the toe to lay straight.