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Does Hammertoe Have to be Treated?

Monday, 30 April 2018 00:00

One uncomfortable deformity of the middle toes is hammertoe. The name is derived from the word “hammer,” as a result of the toe bending in the middle of the joint. It is typically caused by unbalanced muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the toe and will get increasingly worse if it is ignored and treatment is not sought. If certain shoes are worn, such as high heels that have a small area for the toes, the risk of developing this ailment is heightened. Other causes may include a predisposed inherited gene, certain forms of arthritis that may alter the bone structure of the foot, or injuries such as stubbing the toe. Some of the symptoms that may be experienced can be swelling and redness surrounding the affected area, open sores or corns that can form on the top of the toe, or having difficulty in keeping the toe straight. There are ways to prevent this condition from developing, such as choosing to wear shoes that have adequate toe room. If you are affected by hammertoe, see a podiatrist to learn about the best treatment options for you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Warren Pasternack of Advantage Foot Care Centers. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in East Brunswick, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
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