Hammertoes - Claw Toes - Mallet Toes

What is a Hammertoe?

Hammertoes are very common foot problems.  Hammertoe is a term used to describe a deformity that is occurring in one of the smaller toes of the foot from the 2nd to the 5th toe (pinky toe).  There term may be divided into mallet toe, claw toe, or hammertoe.  Each one of these divisions describes exactly which joint in the toe is affected.   With a mallet toe the tip of the toe is curved down.  With a claw toe all three of the joints in the toes are affected.  A hammertoe affects primarily the middle joint in the toe.

How did I get Hammertoes?

There are multiple muscles that help stabilize each of the toes and allow them to lie flat on the ground when your walking.  If there is an imbalance in the pull of one of theses muscles a hammertoe may form.  Other causes of hammertoes includes wearing shoes that are too tight, past injury or fracture to the toe, and arthritis.

Are Hammertoes bad?

Hammertoes can lead to foot pain and discomfort especially in closed toed shoe gear.  Redness and swelling in the areas where the toes are rubbing in the shoes typically occur first followed by painful corns or calluses in the areas where this rubbing is occurring.  Some people complaint of stiff joints and pain even when walking without shoes.

How are hammertoes treated?

Treatment options depend on which type of hammertoe deformity you are experiencing.  If the toes are still flexible making shoe gear modifications such as wearing wider shoes or deeper toe box shoes can accommodate the hammertoes and prevent any further pain.  Custom orthotics are also an important treatment option to help improve some of the improper biomechanical pull of the tendons and muscles acting on the toes.  If all conservative treatments have failed surgical correction of the hammertoes may be performed.  The procedure is typically performed as an outpatient at a local surgery center which allows you to rest and recuperate in the comfort of your home.  The procedures can be very complex to straighten the toes such as changing the pull of tendons in your toes, lengthening the tendons or removing small pieces of bone in the toes.

If you are suffering from painful hammertoes, corns associated with them or concerned with the look of your toes consult with one of the surgically trained Podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center in McKinney and Prosper, Texas.  Dr. Silvers, Dr. Lloyd, and Dr. Witt are each well trained in treating conservatively and surgically painful hammertoes.  Call 972-542-2155 for an appointment today.

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