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Traverse City / Kalkaska


(231) 922-9100
(800) 968-7440

What Is a Hammertoe?

Monday, 30 March 2020 00:00

There are many types of deformities that can happen to the feet. One of these is referred to as a hammertoe, which can cause the toe to bend downward instead of naturally pointing forward. It can develop gradually due to genetic reasons, or from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additional reasons why this ailment may occur can include an injury to the toe, or medical conditions such as arthritis or nerve damage. Common side effects of hammertoe may consist of corns or calluses, they can form on top of the affected toe, and it may be difficult to walk and flex your foot. Patients may find mild relief when insoles are worn in the shoes, and surgery may be a necessary option to correct severe hammertoe. If you are afflicted with this ailment, it’s suggested that you consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for proper treatment to begin.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm of Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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