Hammering Out the Details on Hammertoes
What is it?
A “Hammertoe” is an abnormal bending down of a toe so as to resemble a hammer or a claw. It is similar to other deformities such as “claw toe” and “mallet toe,” with the only difference being where on the toe the bending occurs.
What causes it?
Hammertoes can arise from a variety of causes. Genetics are thought to play a role. They can occur due to other deformities, such as from bunions. They can also occur from poor shoe choices, such as high heels and flip flops: the constant clenching of your toes to keep flip flops on your feet can accelerate hammertoe formation, and the extra pressure and that is put on your toes while wearing high heels can also cause your toes to retract.
What are the symptoms?
What treatments are available?
For some patients, conservative treatments such as specialized orthotics may relieve some of the pain associated with hammertoes. Shoe modification is important, so pick shoes that offer wider toe boxes and avoid high heels and flip flops.
For select patients, surgery may be necessary if the deformity is advanced. In this case, our doctors here at Advanced Foot and Ankle Care would be happy to discuss all your options with you and make sure that all other reasonable options have been exhausted.