18 Dec Hammertoe – Causes and Treatment
The foot is made up of several bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that work together. If one or more of the muscles weaken, a hammertoe may develop. It is a foot deformity in which the second toe bends at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. It may also affect the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet.
Hammertoe is an imbalance in the toes, and may be caused due to several reasons, such as wearing narrow toe box shoes to broken or stubbed toes. Hammertoes cause pain and discomfort in the affected toe, redness, swelling, and the person may find it difficult to straighten the toe. A podiatrist can properly examine the toe and recommend the right treatment options.
Causes of Hammertoes
- Genetic predisposition can make a person more susceptible to develop hammertoes.
- Arthritis can cause deformities in the joints in your toes.
- Direct injury to the toes could cause the development of hammertoes.
- Undue pressure on the toes from ill-fitting shoes can lead to a hammertoe.
Treatment of Hammertoes
- Orthotics – Custom made foot orthotics can reduce pressure on the toes and relieve the pain.
- Medications – Pain medications, such as NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to treat the pain and inflammation. Steroid injections may be recommended for lasting pain relief.
- Surgery – In severe cases, where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery may be needed.