Hammertoes usually start out as mild deformities and get progressively worse over time. In the earlier stages, hammertoes are flexible and the symptoms can often be managed with changes in shoe
styles and foot care products. But if left untreated, hammertoes can become more rigid and painful. Corns are more likely to develop as time goes on-and corns never really go away, even after
trimming. In more severe cases of Hammer toe
, corn lesions may evolve into severe ulcerations. These
lesions frequently occur in patients who have vascular disease or are Diabetic with neuropathy. The ulcerations can extend to the bone and result in infection and possible loss of digit or
The constant pressure a woman's foot receives in high-heeled shoes due to the force of gravity causes their feet to naturally slide down and press on the lowest point of the shoe so they are not able
to receive enough space and stretch out. The result is an eventual distortion of the woman's toes. The deformity comes as a result of the shortening of muscles inside the toes because the toes become
used to being in a bent position, prompting the muscles to fail to extend any further and become tightened and curbed. At first, toes may still be stretched out if poor footwear is not being worn,
yet if the habit is persistent...the person's toes will eventually become used to the position they are constantly in and muscle fibers inside them will harden and refuse to stretch.
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.
Hammertoes are progressive, they don?t go away by themselves and usually they will get worse over time. However, not all cases are alike, some hammertoes progress more rapidly than others. Once your
foot and ankle surgeon has evaluated your hammertoes, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.
Non Surgical Treatment
There are several treatment options. These are based on how severe the problem has become. The sooner a person seeks treatment, the more options that person may have. Wear properly fitting shoes;
this does not necessarily mean expensive shoes. Padding any prominent areas around the bony point of the toe may help to relieve pain. Medication that reduces inflammation can ease the pain and
swelling. Sometimes a doctor will use cortisone injections to relieve acute pain. A podiatrist may also custom-make an insert to wear inside your shoe. This can reduce pain and keep the hammer toe
from getting worse. Your doctor may recommend foot exercises to help restore muscle balance. Splinting the toe may help in the very early stages.
There are Hammer toes
generally two methods surgeons use to correct hammer toes, they are joint resection (arthroplasty) or bone
mending (fusion), and the location where this is performed on the toe depends on where the toe is buckled. Its important to recognize that most of the surgical work involved the joints of the toe,
not the joint of the ball of the foot. Sometimes a toe relocation procedure is needed when the joint of the ball of the foot is malaligned (subluxed or dislocated).
The best treatment is good prevention! Hammertoe can be prevented by wearing shoes with ample toe room, avoiding high heels, and wearing adjustable shoes to assure a looser fit. When buying shoes,
shop at the end of the day when your feet are swollen from daily activity, try both shoes on to confirm they fit properly, and if necessary, visit a shoe repair store to see if they can stretch your
shoes for a better fit.