Hammer Toes

Hammer Toes

Beginning as a slight deformity of the toe, hammertoes are little toes that bend at the end joint. This most commonly occurs to the second toe. You’ll notice them because they look like they’re starting to curl downwards. Medically speaking, this position results from flexion at the first toe joint (proximal interphalangeal joint) and an extended joint at the ball of the foot (metatarsophalangeal joint).

Factors that play a role in the bending toes are tight shoes, previous injuries, genetics, or an imbalance between the muscles and the tendons. Often when the second toe is longer than the first and tight shoes are worn - or shoes that were measured only from the length of the big toe - the second toe will bend downward and progressively become a hammer toe. Other than bent toes, the symptoms include:

  • Pain when wearing shoes
  • Corns or calluses
  • Inflammation
  • Open sores

It is easiest to treat hammer toes in their early stages, prior to them becoming rigid or fixed. Hammer toes will not go away without treatment.  Treatment generally begins with footwear advice. Properly fitted shoes with a wide/deep toe box are recommended. Your Podiatrist will identify the exact cause and for advice on removing corns or to have calluses shaved. Custom orthotics can control the imbalance between the muscles and the tendons. To realign the toes, splints are often used. Surgery is only suggested for hammertoes when conservative options are exhausted.

Two weeks with Calcaneal Spur and finally got to see Doc. He sent me to Kevin @ Eleven and with One Appointment, he had me walking without Crutches. Yes! It still hurt. Did the Stretching, Rolling my Foot on a Spikey ball and Iced it occasionally. Return visit, after he had his Holiday, and I' am walking fine. They do NOT want to see me again, unless it deteriorates. Which it has not :-)
- Ivan CooKe