A #LINK is a common and painful deformity in the three middle toes where they appear to always be bent. Causes of hammer toes include shoes that don?t fit properly, foot injuries, bunions and
rheumatoid arthritis. Having toe joints sticking out can cause them to rub and a person may walk differently, risking other foot conditions, such as metatarsalgia. Hammer toes can be a serious
problem in people with diabetes or poor circulation.
The main cause of hammer toe is poorly fitted and/or poorly designed footwear. Any footwear that is too tight in the toe box, especially high-heeled shoes, can push the toes forward, crowding one or
more of them into a space that is not large enough to allow the toes to lie flat and spread as they should. Other causes include the following. Changes in foot anatomy. Sometimes the metatarsal bones
in the ball of the foot can ?drop,? creating a situation in which the toes do not make contact with the surface of the shoe. The toes may then contract at one or both of the joints to re-establish
contact with the surface. Traumatic injuries in which toes are jammed or broken. Diabetic neuropathy. This can cause abnormal foot biomechanics due to nerve and/or muscle damage. Damage to nerves and
muscles from other conditions, such as arthritis or stroke. Heredity.
Pain on the bottom of your foot, especially under the ball of your foot, is one of the most common symptoms associated with hammertoes. Other common signs and symptoms of hammertoes include pain at
the top of your bent toe from footwear pressure. Corns on the top of your bent toe. Redness and swelling in your affected area. Decreased joint range of motion in your affected toe joints.
Some questions your doctor may ask of you include, when did you first begin having foot problems? How much pain are your feet or toes causing you? Where is the pain located? What, if anything, seems
to improve your symptoms? What, if anything, appears to worsen Hammer toes
your symptoms? What kind of shoes do you
normally wear? Your doctor can diagnose hammertoe or mallet toe by examining your foot. Your doctor may also order X-rays to further evaluate the bones and joints of your feet and toes.
Non Surgical Treatment
In the earlier stages of hammer toe, when the toes can still be manually straightened, then conservative treatment is appropriate. This means wearing shoes which are a half size bigger than normal
and which are not narrow around the toes. Exercises to stretch the toes out and strengthen the muscles under the foot which balances the tightness of the top tendons are important. Padding or corn
plasters can be used to ease the discomfort of any associated corns and calluses.
The technique the surgeon applies during the surgery depends on how much flexibility the person's affected toes still retain. If some flexibility has still been preserved in their affected toes, the
hammer toes might be corrected through making a small incision into the toe so the surgeon can manipulate the tendon that is forcing the person's toes into a curved position. If, however, the
person's toes have become completely rigid, the surgeon might have to do more than re-aligning the person's tendons. Some pieces of bone may have to be removed so the person's toe has the ability to
straighten out. If this is the case, some pins are attached onto the person's foot afterwards to fix their bones into place while the injured tissue heals. Following the surgical procedure, the
person might have to deal with some stiffness and swelling as they pursue their recovery process. The person should also expect the toes that have been corrected to appear different following the
surgery. For example; the person's toes may appear longer or shorter than they were before. The person will be advised not to pursue too much physical activity that involves their feet for some time
to give their injury from surgery enough time to heal properly.