is foot deformity that typically affects second, third or fourth
toes. The condition is called hammertoe because of the unnatural position your toes form. Hammertoe causes your toe to bend upward at the middle joint in a way that looks similar to a hammer. While
it may not be painful at first, this condition usually worsens with time and it becomes difficult to extend your toes. Sometimes, calluses or corns form in association with hammertoe.
Hammer toes result from a muscle imbalance which causes the ligaments and tendons to become unnaturally tight. This results in the joint curling downward. Arthritis can also lead to many different
forefoot deformities, including hammer toes.
If the toes remain in the hammertoe position for long periods, the tendons on the top of the foot will tighten over time because they are not stretched to their full length. Eventually, the tendons
shorten enough that the toe stays bent, even when shoes are not being worn. The symptoms of hammertoe include a curling toe, pain or discomfort in the toes and ball of the foot or the front of the
leg, especially when toes are stretched downward, thickening of the skin above or below the affected toe with the formation of corns or calluses, difficulty finding shoes that fit well. In its early
stages, hammertoe is not obvious. Frequently, hammertoe does not cause any symptoms except for the claw-like toe shape.
Your doctor is very likely to be able to diagnose your hammertoe simply by examining your foot. Even before that, he or she will probably ask about your family and personal medical history and
evaluate your gait as you walk and the types of shoes you wear. You'll be asked about your symptoms, when they started and when they occur. You may also be asked to flex your toe so that your doctor
can get an idea of your range of motion. He or she may order x-rays in order to better define your deformity.
Non Surgical Treatment
Try to find shoes that are soft, roomy, and comfortable and avoid tight shoes or shoes with high heels. A shoe repair shop may be able to stretch a small pocket in regular shoes to make room for the
hammertoe. Have a professional pedicure. Sometimes a skilled manicurist can file down a painful corn. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions. Ask your provider what activities you should
avoid and when you can return to your normal activities, how to take care of yourself at home, what symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them. Make sure you know when
you should come back for a checkup.
Until recently, wires were used for surgical correction. In this technique, one or more wires are inserted into the bone through both the affected joint and a normally healthy toe joint, and the end
of the toe. These wires stay in place for four to six weeks, protruding Hammer toe
from the end of the toes. Due
to the protruding wire, simple things such working, driving, bathing and even sleeping are difficult while these wires are in place. During this recovery period, patients often experience discomfort
during sleep and are subject possible infection.
What to do after you wear your high heels to avoid getting the hammertoes has to do with stretching and opening up the front of the foot. There?s a great product called Yoga Toes that you can slide
on your foot and it will stretch and open up all of the toes, elongating and stretching the muscles in the front of the foot. I also advise people to stretch the back of their legs, which is the calf
muscle, which puts much less pressure on the front of the foot. The less pressure you have on the front of the foot, the less the foot will contract in and start creating the hammertoes.