Bard Podiatry Associates
Podiatrists & Foot & Ankle Surgeons located in Staten Island, NY
A hammertoe can cause discomfort for many. At Bard Podiatry Associates, Dr. Baskhron helps New York City and Staten Island, New York patients with hammertoes find the relief they need through orthotics and if needed, surgery.
Hammer Toes Q&A
What are hammertoes?
A hammertoe develops when the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint of the big toe, where it bends when walking, become imbalanced. The middle joint of the toe begins to bend into an abnormal position pointing in toward the other toes and the stays off balance. In most cases, the toe is then exposed to a great deal of rubbing and friction which causes discomfort and aggravation of the skin. Hammertoes can sometimes develop on toes that curl, usually the pinky toe and its neighbor. Since the high-heels and pointed shoes frequently worn by women force the toes into tight confines, increasing the pressure, women can develop hammertoes more frequently than men. People with diabetes or poor circulation can be particularly plagued by hammertoes. There are two types of hammertoes:
- Rigid- The tendons have pushed the toe out of its proper orientation, it is rigid and cannot be moved.
- Flexible- the toe(s) can still be moved at the joint.
What causes hammertoes?
Throughout the body, the muscles work in pairs. The toes are no different, with a set of balanced muscles on either side. When these muscles are no longer in balance, usually when one is stronger than the other, a hammertoe develops. This causes pressure to accumulate on the joints and tendons. This pressure forces the toe into the hammerhead shape. The imbalance is typically the result of:
- Damage to the toe(s)
- Shoes which don’t fit properly
- Heredity, a person could be prone to inheriting the condition
What are the signs of a hammertoe?
- Indications of a hammertoe include:
- Corns or calluses on joint
- Hard to move toe(s)
- Toe joint is red or inflamed
- Putting on and wearing shoes is painful
- Sore ball of foot under the bent toe
- Discomfort when attempting to move at joint
What treatments are used for hammertoes?
Appropriately fitted shoes, orthotics, and padding can alleviate the pressure on the toe joint and assist it to move back into its correct position. When the hammertoe is very severe, surgery might be required. Surgery will be used when more conventional therapies have not been successful.
Please see the list of plans that we accept. If you do not see yours, please call our office to find out how we can help.