Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00

Understanding Hammertoes, Claw Toes, and Mallet Toes

The toes can become bent into a variety of different positions, and those toes are either known as hammertoes, claw toes, or mallet toes. Hammertoes occur when the toes are bent downwards causing the middle joint to be raised. Hammertoes often affect the second toe, and they usually occur with bunions. Claw toes cause the four smaller toes to curl up because the middle joints bend down and the joints connecting the toes to the foot bend up. A mallet toe occurs when the joint closest to the tip of the toe begins to bend downwards. These toe conditions are often a result of shoes that are too tight, but they can be linked to conditions such as diabetes and arthritis. Because these conditions are often painful, patients who are suffering from one of these conditions should consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to help find the correct treatment method and suggest surgery if necessary.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Houston Foot and Ankle. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Kingwood, Humble, Mont Belvieu, Spring, and Conroe, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

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