A hammer toe is a toe which curls over or is flexed at the proximal (middle) toe joint of the smaller toes.
This problem may be either flexible or rigid based on the movement available at the affected joint.
There are a number of causes. These may include:
1. Bone and muscle imbalances. Unstable foot posture can result in overuse or excessive contraction of muscles and tendons inserting into the toes. This can allow development to occur. This may be seen with excessive pronation (roll-in) or excessive supination (roll-out) which causes muscular and/or bone imbalance.
2. Arthritis can also give rise to hammer toe development. Changes in joints associated with arthritis can cause hammer toes to develop.
3. Prolonged use of incorrect or poorly fitting footwear may also contribute to the deformation of toes.
Preventing their development means controlling bone and muscle imbalances due to malalignment. This is usually carried out using a specific combination of exercises, mobilisation, orthotic shoe inserts and occasionally hammer toe splints are used.
toes can cause abnormal pressure and skin irritation. Calluses and
corns can form and these can develop into more serious pathological foot
problems and, in serious cases, ulceration or infection may occur.
Early treatment can lead to successful results without hammer toe surgery if you have a flexible hammer toe deformity. If your hammer toe is rigid then the only real effective cure is usually hammer toe surgery. If you need further assistance, consult your podiatrist, chiropodist or foot doctor.
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WARNING : This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist, your Doctor or your foot specialist.
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