Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rachel N. Verville
September 12, 2016
What is Hammer Toe?
Many Frisco area patients come to Dr. Verville because they have a Hammer Toe. Hammer Toe is a painful toe deformity that causes the toes to bend or curl downwards, rather than point forwards, due to the second joint of the toe becoming dislocated. Hammer Toe most frequently occurs on the second, third, fourth or fifth toes. Other symptoms of Hammer Toe include corns and calluses, which develop due to constant friction between toes and tightly fitting shoes, difficulty or pain when walking, the inability to flex your foot or wiggle your toes and the appearance of claw-like toes. Hammer Toe is a progressive condition that never gets better on its own, and always requires attention from a podiatrist.
What Causes Hammer Toe?
There are many different reasons that can cause Hammer Toe to occur in Frisco area patients, including:
- Genetics: While rare, Hammer Toe can be present at birth.
- Family History: If you have a history of Hammer Toe in your family, it is likely that you will develop the condition in your lifetime.
- Unusually High-Arched Feet: This condition can cause a host of problems, one of them being Hammer Toe, and is often associated with a neurological disorder.
- Traumatic Toe Injury: If you’ve had a serious injury to your toe before, it’s likely that you will develop Hammer Toe.
- Arthritis: Arthritis in the feet can cause your second toe joint to dislocate, and result in Hammer Toe.
- Tightened Ligaments or Tendons in the Foot: A muscle/tendon imbalance in the foot can cause the bending of the toes, which can lead to Hammer Toe overtime.
- Wearing Shoes That Don’t Fit Properly: Wearing tightly fitting shoes, or narrow, pointy shoes or heels, can leave little room in the front of the shoes for your toes. Overtime, wearing these improperly fitting shoes can lead to Hammer Toe.
- Bunions: A bunion is a painful, unnatural, bony hump that forms at the bottom joint of the big toe. Often, bunions cause the big toe to point inwards to the second toe. This additional pressure on the second toe can cause a dislocation in the second toe joint, thus resulting in Hammer Toe.
What are the Treatments for Hammer Toe?
There are many different treatments for Hammer Toe, and Frisco area podiatrist Dr. Verville will determine the right course of treatment based on your unique case. First, Dr. Verville will diagnose your Hammer Toe by performing a physical exam and ordering X-rays, too. Once you have your diagnosis, Dr. Verville will put together your treatment plan. If you have a mild case of Hammer Toe, say by wearing improperly fitting shoes, you can correct your Hammer Toe by wearing shoes that fit properly. Dr. Verville will likely request that you go to a Frisco shoe store and have your foot length and width properly measured so you can find the best shoe fit for you. If high arches cause your Hammer Toe, podiatrist Dr. Verville will likely suggest you wear toe pads or insoles in your shoes, which can help by shifting your toes’ position inside your shoes. And if you have bunions or corns, Dr. Verville might suggest you try over-the-counter cushions, pads, or medications that you can buy at any Frisco area pharmacy. If the corns or bunions are severe, however, Dr. Verville might suggest you opt to have them surgically removed.
If you do have a more severe case of Hammer Toe, for example, if you can’t move your toe, then surgery is the only option. During surgery, podiatrist Dr. Verville will reposition your toe to a normal position, remove damaged bone, and realign your tendons.
I Have Hammer Toe, What Do I Do Now?
Remember, Hammer Toe is a progressive disorder that will never get better without the assistance of a podiatrist. If you suspect you have Hammer Toe, call Dr. Verville’s Frisco area office today to schedule an appointment at (214) 385-8822. We want to help you feel better, after all, our feet get us where we need to go. And we know you have a lot of living to do! Don’t let something as easy to correct as Hammer Toe slow you down.