Thursday, 15 June 2017 00:00

All About Hammertoes

A hammertoe is a deformity of the foot that occurs when one of the toe muscles becomes weak and puts pressure on the toe’s tendons and joints, forcing it to stick up at the joint rather than lying naturally flat in line with the others. Hammertoes most often occur on the second toe or the smallest toe. 

Three main factors lead to hammertoes:

$11.     Your genetics may be the culprit. On one hand, people with high arches are more at risk of hammertoes. On the other, those with flat, flexible feet are at risk as well.

$12.     Do you prefer fashionable footwear? Women develop all forms of hammertoes more often than men do, probably because women often choose narrow, poorly fitting shoes with little arch support, high heels, and pointy toe boxes. Over time, these shoes damage the feet.

$13.     Are you living with a chronic health condition? Patients with diabetes, Peripheral Arterial Disease, or neuropathy are at increased risk for occurrence of and complications from hammertoes.

There are three kinds of hammertoes:

$1·      Hammertoes are bent at the middle joint only.

$1·      Clawtoes are bent at the middle and end joints

$1·      Mallet toes only affect the joint at the end of the toe.

Depending on the degree of deformity, any kind of hammertoe is classified as flexible, semi-rigid, or rigid. The more inflexible the toe, the more painful it will be.  Complicating matters, hammertoes often cause uncomfortable corns or calluses to grow as the affected toe rubs repeatedly against the shoe.  

If you have a hammertoe, you can reduce discomfort by switching to sensible, comfortable shoes and regularly using a pumice stone on your callus or corn. Never use a blade, razor, or grater on your feet. These can cause small nicks and cuts that allow bacteria to enter your body.

If surgery to fix your hammertoe is required, it’s a relatively procedure, and often the best way to permanently solve the problem. Surgery will make shoes fit better, improve calluses and corns, and make your feet more attractive.

Do you think that you might have a hammertoe, clawtoe, or mallet toe? Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here today to schedule an appointment at our convenient Pikesvilleoffice.  Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova are experts in diagnosis and treating hammertoes and all other medical issues related to your feet, ankles, and lower legs. They can examine your feet to diagnose and treat your problem and have you up and running in no time.