Hammertoes are a deformity which results in bony prominences on the toes causing them to be permanently bent – resembling a hammer. Often the cause is biomechanical in origin which can cause unbalanced muscle contraction which changes the underlying bone structure of the foot. In time, toes become rigid, inflexible and painful. If diagnosed early, hammertoes can be treated with functional orthotics, but in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the conditon.
CAUSES OF HAMMERTOES
- Ill-fitting shoes
- Muscle or biomechanical imbalance
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Wear a supportive shoe with a deep toe box
- Apply cold compresses to relieve pain
- Soak the foot in lukewarm water to relieve pain
WHAT CAN YOUR PODIATRISTS DO?
- Perform a physical examination
- Request an X-ray, bone scan, CT, MRI or other imaging studies
- Perform trimming and padding
- Prescribe a custom orthotic
- Perform surgery as required