The Pesky Hammertoe

A Hammertoe is a deformity that causes your toe to curl downward instead of pointing forward. It can affect any toe, but most often affects the second or third toe on your foot. While a hammertoe can be hereditary, it usually develops over time due to arthritis or wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. The good news is, in most cases, a hammertoe is typically treatable.

Hammertoe causes

Your toe has 2 joints; one at the middle and bottom. When the middle joint is bent downward, a hammertoe can occur.

 

Risk Factors for a Hammer Toe:

  • Family history of hammertoes
  • Tight and/or ill-fitting footwear
  • Having bunions
  • Arthritis
  • Toe injury

 

Don’t Let Improper footwear jeopardize foot health

Wearing shoes that are too small puts you at risk for a number of foot problems, including a hammertoe. When your shoes are too tight or pointy, they force your toes into abnormal positions. Over time, this can cause:

  • Hammer toes
  • Blisters and ulcerations
  • Bunions
  • Corns and calluses

So resist the urge to squeeze into a pair of shoes that don’t quite fit for the sake of style. It’s not worth the risk to your feet.

Signs and symptoms of Hammertoes

  • Pain or discomfort when walking
  • Toe bent downward
  • Inability to wiggle your toes
  • Unable to flex your foot
  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Redness and pain from pressure

Why seek a footcare specialist for Hammertoes?

Left untreated, the pressure caused by hammertoes can pose a more serious risk to your health. Without proper treatment to reduce pressure, ulcers can develop. A foot ulcer is an open wound that can extend from the surface of the skin into deeper structures of the foot.

Ulcers can be difficult to treat, particularly in Diabetic patients, and can even lead to amputations. So it is extremely important to see a foot care specialist immediately if you experience foot pain or discomfort. It’s also important to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Advanced foot care nurses and Chiropodists can prevent and treat these and other foot concerns.

How can a BioPed Nurse or Chiropodist help with a Hammertoe and other foot problems?

  • Trim calluses and corns
  • Add padding to take pressure off certain areas
  • Advise on proper footwear
  • Recommend and cast for orthotics (Chiropodist)
  • Provide wound care if a wound is present
  • Offer surgical correction to help straighten the toe (Chiropodist)
  • Recommend toe devices to be worn daily

To learn more about Foot Care Nurse Services, click below.

To find a clinic near you for a Chiropody consultation – click below.