What is a Hammer Toe?
A hammer toe is a contracture, or bending, of the toe at the first joint of the digit, called the proximal interphalangeal joint. This bending causes the toe to appear like an upside-down V when looked at from the side. Any toe can be involved, but the condition usually affects the second through fifth toes.
How do you get a Hammer Toe?
A hammer toe develops because of an abnormal balance of the muscles in the toes. This abnormal balance causes increased pressure on the tendons and joints of the toe, leading to its contracture. Heredity and trauma can also lead to the formation of a hammer toe.
Diagnosis & Treatment
The treatment options vary with the type and severity of each hammer toe, although identifying the deformity early in its development is important to avoid surgery. Your podiatric physician will examine and X-ray the affected area and recommend a treatment plan specific to your condition.
There are several things you can do to help prevent hammer toes from forming or progressing:
- Wear supportive shoes to help prevent deformities. Hammer toes are often related to faulty foot mechanics, especially foot flattening
- Wear custom orthotics prescribed by your podiatrist. Orthotics may slow the progression or prevent the development of hammer toes
- Avoid shoes with narrow or pointed toe boxes that can compress the toes
If you think you have a hammer toe call now or request your appointment online TODAY!