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What Can Cause Hammertoes?

Tuesday, 08 June 2021 00:00

Hammertoe is a progressive foot deformity in which the toe bends down at the middle joint, giving the toe a hammer-like appearance. This can be both unsightly and uncomfortable as the tops of your toes rub up against the inside of your shoes. The constant rubbing and friction can cause corns and calluses to form on the tops of the toes. Hammertoes can be caused by an imbalance of the muscles and ligaments in the toes, wearing shoes that don’t fit properly, toes that squish together, shoes that have excessively high heels or a narrow toe box, and even flip-flops. Flat feet may also be a risk factor that contributes to hammertoe formation. If you develop hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist who can offer you treatment options to slow the progression of your hammertoes as well as correct them.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. 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 our offices located in Lakeport and Ukiah, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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