Deformities in the feet are a potential cause for concern, particularly when it takes on a specific appearance. A hammer toe is a type of physical deformity in the foot that may cause pain, general discomfort and embarrassment.
What is a Hammer Toe?
Hammer toes are a type of deformity in the feet. It usually occurs on the three middle toes of the feet. The proximal interphalangeal joint becomes deformed and it causes the toe to bend, resulting in an appearance that is similar to the shape of a hammer.
Causes of Hammer Toe
The primary cause for the deformity in the feet is an individual’s shoes. When the shoes are too narrow, too tight or too high, they may cause the toes to curl up throughout the day. Over time, the deformity in the joint begins to form and the feet become permanently bent into the curled position.
While improper footwear is a common cause, hammer toe is also related to genetics and physical health conditions. In some cases, the condition will develop even if the shoes are an appropriate size and do not cause the toes to curl.
Medical conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis and stroke may cause the toes to curl. Over time, the constant curling and crowding of the toes will result in a deformity that is potentially painful.
The treatment for hammertoe depends on the severity of the deformity. In the early stages of the deformity, it may be possible to wear more comfortable shoes and orthotic shoe inserts. If hammertoe or mallet toe deformities are not flexible, then surgery may be the appropriate solution.
Wearing cramped and uncomfortable shoes can have a dramatic impact on the health of the feet. When hammertoe develops, it is possible to treat the condition with the help of medical professionals at our offices.