There are two types of hammertoe
, Flexible hammertoes. If the toe still can be moved at
the joint, it's a flexible hammertoe. That's good, because this is an earlier, milder form of the problem. There may be several treatment options. Rigid hammertoes. If the tendons in the toe become
rigid, they press the joint out of alignment. At this stage, the toe can't be moved. It usually means that surgery is needed.
Your toe contains two joints that allow it to bend at the middle and bottom. A hammertoe occurs when the middle joint becomes dislocated. Common causes of this joint dislocation include a toe injury,
arthritis, a high foot arch, wearing shoes that don?t fit properly, tightened ligaments or tendons in the foot, pressure from a bunion (when your big toe points inward toward your second toe) Spinal
cord or peripheral nerve damage may cause all of your toes to curl downward.
Common symptoms of hammertoes include pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes. corns and calluses (a buildup of skin) on the toe, between two toes, or on the ball of the foot. Corns
are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending upon their location. Inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation. Contracture of the toe. In more severe cases
of hammertoe, open sores may form.
Hammertoes are progressive, they don?t go away by themselves and usually they hammertoe
worse over time. However, not all cases are alike, some hammertoes progress more rapidly than others. Once your foot and ankle surgeon has evaluated your hammertoes, a treatment plan can be developed
that is suited to your needs.
Non Surgical Treatment
The most common treatment is to wear more comfortable shoes. When choosing a shoe, make sure the toe area is high and broad and has enough room for hammer toes. If there is chronic pain, surgery may
be needed to correct a malalignment. Surgical treatments are aimed at loosening up the contracted toe joints to allow them to align properly. Other types of treatment are products designed to relieve
hammer toes, such as hammer toe crests and hammer toe splints. These devices will help hold down the hammer toe and provide relief to the forefoot. Gel toe shields and gel toe caps can also be used.
Gel toe shields and toe caps will help eliminate friction between the shoe and the toe, while providing comfort and lubrication.
As previously mentioned it?s best to catch this problem early; hammer toe taping is relatively harmless and simple. Long term complications can cause foot deformities and even difficulty walking.
It?s always best to stiff shoes and high heel, especially if you?re working on hammer toe recovery. Pick comfortable shoes with plenty of toe space. Prevention is the best cure here as this injury is
nearly always self inflicted.