The Hammer toe usually affects the second toe, but may also affect the other toes. Finger rotates into a position similar to a claw.
The most common cause of hammer toe is to use short, narrow shoes that are too tight. The toe is forced to be in a flexed position. The muscles and tendons in the toe tighten and become shorter.
The Hammer toe is more likely to occur in:
Women who wear shoes that do not fit well or have high heels
Children who keep wearing shoes that fit small
The condition may be present at birth (congenital) or develop over time.
Rarely, all toes are affected. This can be caused by a problem with the nerves or spinal cord.
The joint half toe is bent. The final part of the toe bends down into a claw-like deformity. At first, you can move and straighten the finger, but over time, you can not do and will hurt.
Often, a callus forms on the top of the toe and is detected callus on the sole of the foot.
Walking or wearing shoes can be painful.
Exams and Tests
A physical examination of the foot confirms that you have hammer toe. The doctor may find decreased and painful movement of the toes.
Mild cases of hammer toe in children can be treated with foot manipulation and splinting the affected toe.
Wear the appropriate size or roomy shoes for comfort and to prevent worsening of the deformity.
Avoid high heels if possible.
Wear soft insoles to relieve pressure on the toe.
Protect the protruding joint with corn pads or felt pads.
A foot doctor can make foot devices called regulators or straighteners hammer toe or you can buy them in a store.
The exercises may help. You can try gentle stretching exercises if the toe is not already in a fixed position. Pick up a towel with your toes can help stretch and straighten the small muscles in the foot.
For a bad case of hammer toe, you will need an operation to straighten the joint.
Surgery often involves cutting or moving tendons and ligaments.
Sometimes it is necessary to connect (fuse) the bones on each side of the joint.
Most of the time, you will go home the same day of surgery. The toe may still be stiff after this and can be equally short.
If the condition is treated early, you can often avoid surgery. Treatment will reduce pain and difficulty walking.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
If you have a hammer toe, make an appointment with your doctor if:
Develops blisters or thick calluses on the toes.
The pain gets worse.
Has difficulty walking.
Avoid wearing shoes that are too short or narrow. Frequently check the size of children’s shoes, especially during periods of rapid growth.