is caused when the middle joint (PIP) bends down towards the floor (flexion). To compensate, the
joints above and below (MTP, DIP) bend up (hyperextend). The result is that the middle part of the toe lifts up. Hammertoe is the most common deformity of the lesser toes (i.e. not the big toe). It
tends to only affect one toe, most commonly the second.
It?s thought that hammertoe may develop from wearing shoes that are too narrow or too short. This probably explains why women are far more prone to the condition than men: almost 9 out of 10 women
wear shoes that are too small. Another cause is diabetes mellitus, which produces nerve damage in the feet that may lead to hammer toe.
People who have painful hammertoes visit their podiatrist because their affected toe is either rubbing on the end their shoe (signaling a contracted flexor tendon), rubbing on the top of their shoe
(signaling a contracted extensor tendon), or rubbing on another toe and causing a painful buildup of thick skin, known as a corn.
Although hammertoes are readily apparent, to arrive at a diagnosis the foot and ankle surgeon will obtain a thorough history of your symptoms and examine your foot. During the physical examination,
the doctor may attempt to reproduce your symptoms by manipulating your foot and will study the contractures of the toes. In addition, the foot and ankle surgeon may take x-rays to determine the
degree of the deformities and assess any changes that may have occurred.
Non Surgical Treatment
Inserts in your shoes can be used to help relieve pressure on the toes from the deformity. Splints/Straps. These can be used to help re-align and stretch your toes and correct the muscle imbalance
and tendon shortening. One of the most common types are toe stretchers like the yogatoe. Chiropody. A chiropodist can remove calluses or corns, areas of hard skin that have formed to make the foot
more comfortable.Steroid injections can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
If you are unable to flex your toe, surgery is the only option to restore movement. Surgery is used to reposition the toe, remove deformed or injured bone, and realign your tendons. Surgery is
normally done on an outpatient basis, so you can hammertoes
return home on the day of your surgery.