The 2nd toe is the most common digit to develop a hammertoes
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.
Hammertoes are a contracture of the toes as a result of a muscle imbalance between the tendons on the top of the toes (extensor tendons) and the tendons on the bottom of the toes (flexor tendons). If
there is an imbalance in the foot muscles that stabilize the toe, the smaller muscles can be overpowered by the larger flexor and extensor muscles.
Some people never have troubles with hammer toes. In fact, some people don't even know they have hammertoes
them. They can become uncomfortable, especially while wearing shoes. Many people who develop symptoms with hammer toes will develop corns, blisters and pain on the top of the toe, where it rubs
against the shoe or between the toes, where it rubs against the adjacent toe. You can also develop calluses on the balls of the feet, as well as cramping, aching and an overall fatigue in the foot
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
Padding and Taping. Often this is the first step in a treatment plan. Padding the hammertoe prominence minimizes pain and allows the patient to continue a normal, active life. Taping may change the
imbalance around the toes and thus relieve the stress and pain. Medication. Anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections can be prescribed to ease acute pain and inflammation caused by the joint
deformity. Orthotic Devices. Custom shoe inserts made by your podiatrist may be useful in controlling foot function. An orthotic device may reduce symptoms and prevent the worsening of the hammertoe
If your hammer, claw, or mallet toe gets worse, or if nonsurgical treatment does not help your pain, you may think about surgery. The type of surgery you choose depends on how severe your condition
is and whether the toe joint is fixed (has no movement) or flexible (has some movement). A fixed toe joint often requires surgery to be straightened. A flexible toe joint can sometimes be
straightened without surgery. Surgery choices include Phalangeal head resection (arthroplasty), in which the surgeon removes part of the toe bone. Joint fusion (arthrodesis), in which the surgeon
removes part of the joint, letting the toe bones grow together (fuse). Cutting supporting tissue or moving tendons in the toe joint. How well surgery works depends on what type of surgery you have,
how experienced your surgeon is, and how badly your toes are affected.
The number-one hammertoe prevention tip is to wear properly fitting shoes. If your shoes feel too snug, go to your local shoe store and have the length and width of your feet measured. If you wear
high heels, keep the heel height to 2 inches or less. Wearing shoes with high heels increases the pressure on your toes and causes them to bend. It can also cause the formation of corns and a high