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The Causes of Hammertoe

Monday, 27 August 2018 00:00

Research has shown the main cause for developing the foot condition known as hammertoe originates from wearing poorly fitting shoes. Shoes that have little or no arch may cause the middle joint in the toe to bend downward abnormally, and this may cause the bent toe to resemble a hammer. This condition typically causes severe pain and discomfort, and may affect the surrounding muscles that are used to keep the toe straight. There may be several reasons why this muscle imbalance occurs, including wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move about, having specific diseases such as diabetes or arthritis, or genetic factors. Some of the symptoms that may accompany this ailment may include redness and swelling, open sores on the affected toe, and noticeable pain and discomfort. Certain measures are typically taken to treat hammertoe, and these may include performing gentle foot exercises that incorporate the muscles of the toes, in addition to choosing proper footwear. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist who can determine a treatment plan that is best for you as quickly as possible.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Lee R. Stein of Lake Shore Foot & Ankle, PC. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chicago, Highland Park, and Uptown, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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