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Is Hammertoe a Deformity?

Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

Patients who have a medical condition known as hammertoe are familiar with the deformity of the second toe overlapping the third or big toe. It is considered to be a muscle imbalance, and it can be caused from a variety of factors. These can include genetic traits, having a history of toe injuries, or wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. The toe muscles can gradually become weaker, and the toe may become difficult to straighten out. Some patients find relief in performing specific exercises that are designed to strengthen the toes. These can include picking up items off the floor with the toes, and practicing overall foot stretches. For severe cases of hammertoe, surgery may be a viable option to permanently straighten the toes. If you are afflicted with this condition, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can advise you on the proper treatment options that are correct for you.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Cascade Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Yakima and Ellensburg, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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