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What Causes Hammertoe?

Tuesday, 08 September 2020 00:00

Hammertoe is a condition in which one or more of the small toes develops a bend at the joint. This causes the tip of the toe to turn downward, which gives the toe a hammer-like appearance. The second toe is most frequently affected. Hammertoes are typically caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes for prolonged periods of time. Shoes that are too tight can crowd the toes, putting pressure on them and changing their appearance. While inappropriate footwear is usually the culprit for hammertoes, there are other factors that can cause this deformity. Some people are born with hammertoe, rather than acquiring it over time. Bunions, bony bumps that develop along the outside of the big toe, can cause crowding of the smaller toes, making hammertoes more likely to develop. Arthritis in the joints of the feet can also cause the toes to bend downward. For more information about hammertoe, speak with a podiatrist today.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Massimo Pietrantoni, DPM of Rochester Podiatry, LLP. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brighton and Greece of Rochester, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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