A #LINK is a common and painful deformity in the three middle toes where they appear to always be bent. Causes of hammer toes include shoes that don?t fit properly, foot injuries, bunions and
rheumatoid arthritis. Having toe joints sticking out can cause them to rub and a person may walk differently, risking other foot conditions, such as metatarsalgia. Hammer toes can be a serious
problem in people with diabetes or poor circulation.
While there are a number of causes, there aren't many specific risk factors for hammertoes, women tend to get these problems more than men, but they occur without rhyme or reason. Diabetics, however,
are more likely to get a hammertoe if they have underlying nerve damage in the toes and feet.
Patients with hammer toe(s) may develop pain on the top of the toe(s), tip of the toe, and/or on the ball of the foot. Excessive pressure from shoes may result in the formation of a hardened portion
of skin (corn or callus) on the knuckle and/or ball of the foot. Some people may not recognize that they have a hammer toe, rather they identity the excess skin build-up of a corn.The toe(s) may
become irritated, red, warm, and/or swollen. The pain may be dull and mild or severe and sharp. Pain is often made worse by shoes, especially shoes that crowd the toes. While some hammer toes may
result in significant pain, others may not be painful at all. Painful toes can prevent you from wearing stylish shoes.
Most health care professionals can diagnose hammertoe simply by examining your toes and feet. X-rays of the feet are not needed to diagnose hammertoe, but they may be useful to look for signs of some
types of arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis) or other disorders that can cause hammertoe.
Non Surgical Treatment
There are many non-surgical treatments to help relieve symptoms of hammertoe. The first step for many people is wearing the right size and type of shoe. Low-heeled shoes with a boxy or roomy toe area
are helpful. Cushioned insoles, customized orthopedic inserts, and pads can provided relief as well. Splints or straps may be used to help correct toe position. Your doctor may show you toe stretches
and exercises to perform. Your doctor can safely remove corns and calluses. You should not try to remove them at home.
There are several surgical methods to correct a hammer toe. Your physician will decide which method will be most beneficial to you depending on the severity of your deformity, the direction the toe
is deviating and the length of the affected toe. Some common surgical methods include. Arthroplasty. To promote straightening, half of the joint located directly underneath the crooked part of the
toe is removed. Arthrodesis (fusion) To promote straightening, the joint directly underneath where the toe is crooked is completely removed. A wire or pin Hammer toe
is inserted to aid healing. Tendon transfer. Performed alone or in combination with other procedures,
a surgeon will take tendons from under the toe and ?re-route? them to the top of the toe to promote straightening. Basal phalangectomy. Performed to assist patients with severe stiffness, this
procedure removes the base of the bone underneath the toe. Weil osteotomy. Performed to assist patients with severe stiffness, this procedure involves shortening the metatarsal bone and inserting
surgical hardware to aid healing.
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.