The 2nd toe is the most common digit to develop a hammertoe
deformity. Second toe hammer toes commonly result from an elongated
2nd metatarsal and from pressure due to an excessively abducted great toe (hallux valgus deformity) causing a bunion. Unusually long toes often develop hammer toe deformities. Painful corns often
develop in hammer toe deformity, particularly of the 5th toe. Reactive adventitial bursas often develop beneath corns, which may become inflamed.
The muscles of each toe work in pairs. When the toe muscles get out of balance, a hammer toe can form. Muscle imbalance puts a lot of pressure on the toe's tendons and joints. This pressure forces
the toe into a hammerhead shape. How do the toe muscles get out of balance? There are three main reasons. Your genes, you may have inherited a tendency to develop hammer toes because your foot is
slightly unstable - such as a flat foot. But high-arched feet can also get hammer toes. Arthritis. Injury to the toe: ill-fitting shoes are the main culprits of this cause. If shoes are too tight,
too short, or too pointy, they push the toes out of balance. Pointy, high-heeled shoes put particularly severe pressure on the toes.
People with a hammer toe will often find that a corn or callus will develop on the top of the toe, where it rubs against the top of the footwear. This can be painful when pressure is applied or when
anything rubs on it. The affected joint may also be painful and appear swollen.
A hammertoe is usually diagnosed with a physical inspection of your toe. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, may be ordered if you have had a bone, muscle, or ligament injury in your toe.
Non Surgical Treatment
Conservative treatment starts with new shoes that have soft, roomy toe boxes. Shoes should be one-half inch longer than your longest toe. For many people, the second toe is longer than the big toe.)
Avoid wearing tight, narrow, high-heeled shoes. You may also be able to find a shoe with a deep toe box that accommodates the hammer toe. Or, a shoe repair shop may be able to stretch the toe box so
that it bulges out around the toe. Sandals may help, as long as they do not pinch or rub other areas of the foot.
Surgery is used when other types of treatment fail to relieve symptoms or for advanced cases of hammertoe. There are several types of surgeries to treat hammertoe. A small piece of bone may be
removed from the joint (arthroplasty). The toe joint may be fused to straighten it (arthrodesis). Surgical hardware, such as a pin, may be used to hold the bones in place while they heal. Other types
of surgery involve removing skin (wedging) or correcting muscles and tendons to balance the joint.
Be good to your feet, because they Hammer toes
carry you. They are designed to last a lifetime, but that doesn?t mean they don?t need some
love and care as well as some basic maintenance. Check your feet regularly for problems. This is especially true if you have diabetes or any other medical condition that causes poor circulation or
numbness in your toes. If you do, check your feet every day so problems can be caught early on. Good circulation is essential. When you're sitting down, put your feet up. If you've been sitting for a
while, stretch your legs and feet. Give yourself a foot massage, or ask someone you love for a foot massage. A warm foot bath is also a good idea.