src='http://0201.nccdn.net/1_2/000/000/177/944/CPC-20TREATMENT-20ROOM-20.JPG' width='253' alt='Hammer Toe'/>Overview
, also called hammer toe, deformity of the second, third, or fourth toe in which the toe is
bent downward at the middle joint (the proximal interphalangeal [PIP] joint), such that the overall shape of the toe resembles a hammer. Most cases of hammertoe involve the second toe, and often only
one or two toes are affected. In rare cases when all the toes are involved, a thorough neurological assessment is necessary to evaluate for underlying nerve or spinal cord problems.
Hammertoe commonly develops because of structural changes that take place over time in the muscles and tendons that bend the toes. People with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, are at
risk for developing hammertoe. It can be an inherited condition for some people. Other causes include trauma and wearing shoes that are too tight, narrow, or have high heels. The toe next to the big
toe (second toe) is most frequently affected by hammertoe.
Hammertoe and mallet toe feature an abnormal bend in the joints of one or more of your toes. Moving the affected toe may be difficult or painful. Corns and calluses can result from the toe rubbing
against the inside of your shoes. See your doctor if you have persistent foot pain that affects your ability to walk properly.
Although hammertoes are readily apparent, to arrive at a diagnosis the foot and ankle surgeon will obtain a thorough history of your symptoms and examine your foot. During the physical examination,
the doctor may attempt to reproduce your symptoms by manipulating your foot and will study the contractures of the toes. In addition, the foot and ankle surgeon may take x-rays to determine the
degree of the deformities and assess any changes that may have occurred.
Non Surgical Treatment
Treatment for a hammertoe usually depends on the stage of the hammertoe and the cause of the condition. If your toe is still bendable, your doctor may suggest conservative care-relieving pressure
with padding and strapping, or proper shoes that have a deep toe box and are of adequate length and width. Early intervention can often prevent the need for surgery.
Surgery may not help how your foot looks. And your toe problems may also come back after surgery. This is more likely if you keep wearing the kinds of shoes that cause toe problems. Your expectations
will play a large role in how you feel about the results of surgery. If you are only having surgery to improve the way your foot looks, you may not be happy with how it turns out.