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What Causes a Hammertoe?

When the joints of the toes are affected, it's likely that one may develop a hammertoe. Hammertoes are often recognized by their hammer-like appearance, as this condition causes the affected toe to bend downward. The second, third, fourth, and fifth toes are most commonly affected by this condition. It’s possible for a person to develop what is referred to as a flexible hammertoe. This means that even though a hammertoe is present, the toe can still be moved at the joint. Rigid hammertoes, on the other hand, do not allow for such movement. Hammertoes can develop for a variety of reasons. Common causes may include injury to the affected toe, improperly fitted footwear, and arthritis. In order to treat this condition, it's recommended that you seek the care of your podiatrist.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Family Foot & Ankle Centers. Our doctors 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 Corsicana, Ennis, and Waxahachie, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact Family Foot & Ankle Centers by clicking here or calling 972-597-4132 to reach our Waxahachie office, 903-872-9910 to reach our Corsicana office, or  972-875-3668 to reach our Ennis office.