Hammer Toes

INTRODUCTION TO HAMMER TOES

Patients often refer to all forms of toe abnormalities as a hammertoe. There are in fact four main forms of toe abnormalities, hammer toes, claw toes, mallet toes and trigger toes. A hammertoe can be best described as an abnormal contraction or "buckling" of a toe. This occurs due to a partial or complete dislocation of one of the joints that form the toe. As the toe continues to be deformed, it will press up against the shoe and lead to a skin irritation such as a corn.

APPEARANCE OF HAMMER TOES

HAMMER TOES

SYMPTOMS OF HAMMER TOES

  • A hammer toe may be painful, especially when irritated by a shoe.
  • All four toe conditions may cause cramps in the toes, foot and leg due to the abnormal function of the tendons in the foot.
  • If a mallet toe has occurred, you are likely to suffer from a corn at the end of the toe.
  • A hammertoe may cause a corn on the top of the to

CAUSES OF HAMMER TOES

  • In appropriate shoes.
  • Flat feet can result in hammertoes; this is due to poor mechanics off the foot.
  • High arched feet can also result in buckling toes.
  • A major cause is in hereditary, all the toe conditions mentioned could be acquired due in hereditary factors.
  • Bunions are a major cause of hammertoes.
  • Claw toes are usually the result of a shoe that is too short. For many people, the second toe is actually longer than the great toe, and if shoes are sized to fit the great toe, the second (and maybe even the third toe) will have to bend to fit into the shoe. Shoes that are pointed make matters even worse. Combine pointed shoes with high heels; the foot is under similar pressure as if it was constantly being pushed downhill into a wall.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to bunions, which in turn can lead to hammer toes.

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