What Causes Hammertoes?
Have you noticed that one of your toes is bent or curled? If so, then this abnormality might just be the result of a hammertoe. While a hammertoe can occur in any toe, it most often happens to the second or third toe. This condition usually occurs as a person ages, but there are some people who are born with this problem. From the office of your Sparta, NJ podiatrist, Dr. Philip Caswell, find out more about the cause and solution for your hammertoe.
What are the symptoms of a hammertoe?
If you have a hammertoe, one of the most obvious symptoms is pain when you walk. You may also notice pain when stretching or moving the toe. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms include:
- The development of a corn or callus on the toe
- Problems walking
- A toe that is curled or bend downward
- The inability to move the affected toe
What causes a hammertoe?
There are two joints present in each toe and when the middle joint is dislocated a hammertoe occurs. Joint dislocation causes include:
- Traumatic injury
- Very high arches
- Wearing ill-fitted shoe
- A bunion
- Tight tendons or ligaments in the foot
What can I do?
There are many ways to treat a hammertoe, and a lot will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Common treatment options include:
- Wearing bunion or corn pads
- Wearing shoe inserts or custom orthotics (ask your Sparta, NJ foot doctor about whether orthotics could improve your condition)
- Wearing properly fitted shoes that give your toes room to move
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen
- Performing gentle toe stretches
If your hammertoe is so severe that you are unable to move it then surgery is the only treatment option that will be able to restore movement back into the affected toe. Surgery is used to reposition the toe and to realign any ligaments or tendons in the foot that might be causing your hammertoe.
A hammertoe can be easy to treat if you take care of the problem as soon as possible. If you are dealing with any foot problems turn to the foot care experts at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Sparta, NJ.