What Are Hammertoes?

Some conditions affecting your feet begin painlessly and grow worse over a long period of time. One of the common foot-related conditions, hammertoes, can eventually cause pain, discomfort, or even other conditions as a result of remaining untreated. However, learning the signs of this condition and how they affect your foot can help you spot a hammertoe early to help you manage or even overcome your condition. Find out more about hammertoes with your podiatrist, Dr. Michael Dershowitz at Southwest Foot Institute with locations in Phoenix, AZ, and Glendale, AZ.

What is a hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a condition of the toe which causes it to curl under and resemble the clawed back side of a hammer. Hammertoe occurs when the muscles in the toe become weakened, shortening the tendon and causing it to make the toe curl. Though there is no one cause of hammertoe, you tend to inherit the type of foot you get, including the type which is susceptible to conditions like hammertoe. Wearing ill-fitting, high-heeled, or too-narrow shoes can also contribute to the development of hammertoes. Arthritis and bunions can also contribute to hammertoes.

Do I have a hammertoe?

Hammertoe affects the toes and bottom or ball of the foot, causing pain and discomfort in those areas. Often, however, hammertoes are painless until they are in their later stages. The toe itself will begin to curl under, often causing a corn or callus on top of the toe where its new shape forces it to rub on the inside of the shoes. Hammertoe pain often becomes worse with use of the foot, so you may experience more pain after walking a long distance or standing for a long period of time.

Hammertoe Treatments

Treating hammertoe depends on the patient and their condition’s severity. In their early stages, lifestyle changes like switching the type of shoe you wear or correcting underlying problems may help slow or even stop hammertoe development. More severe cases may need toe straightening devices or even surgery to correct the problem. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best course of treatment for you.

For more information on hammertoes, please contact podiatrist, Dr. Michael Dershowitz at Southwest Foot Institute with locations in Phoenix, AZ, and Glendale, AZ. Call (602) 340-8686 to schedule your appointment in Phoenix or (602) 340-8686 to schedule your appointment in Glendale today!

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