Hammertoes, claw toes, and mallet toes all result from the toes getting bent into odd positions. They usually look odd or unsightly, and they typically affect the smaller toes. When the toe is bent downward and the middle joint raises up, this is known as a hammertoe. This condition frequently affects the second toe and sometimes coincides with a bunion. Claw toes occur when the toes curl up due to the middle joints being bent down, and they often affect all four smaller toes at the same time. When the joint closest to the tip of the toe bends downward, it forms what is known as a mallet toe. Wearing shoes that are too tight is most commonly blamed for these conditions arising, but they can also be linked to diabetes or arthritis. These toe ailments can be quite painful, so patients who are struggling with one would be wise to consult with a podiatrist who can help find a treatment option and determine if surgery is necessary.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Jeffrey Lerner from Palm Beach Podiatric Center. Our doctor 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.
- Pain in the affected toes
- Development of corns or calluses due to friction
- Contracture of the toes
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
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