Hammertoe is a condition where the toe is abnormally bent in the middle joint. The toe, instead of pointing forward; will curl downward. It is often seen on the second or third toe. Hammertoe is flexible and if not treated at the right time; becomes fixed and will need surgery to correct it. It can be acquired or congenital (by birth)!
Why does it happen?
The common causes of hammertoe are
- Severe toe injury
- Wearing shoes that do not fit properly
- It is also seen that women are more likely to develop a hammertoe. The risk increases with age and sometimes it can be hereditary too.
How will I know?
You will experience discomfort when walking. Your toe will pain if you try to stretch or move it.
The following are the symptoms of Hammertoe
- Calluses or corns
- Toe will bend downwards
- Difficulty in walking
- You will not be able to flex or wiggle your toes
What should I do?
Hammer is not a medical emergency; however, it can worsen over time. Whenever you see any symptoms, consult a doctor.
How will I get cured?
The treatment of hammertoe depends on its severity. First, you should wear proper fitting footwear. Wearing toe pads or insoles in shoes can help. This will relieve the pain and correct the appearance. If it is severe then surgery is the only option. Surgery will remove injury or deformed bone and can realign your joints and tendons. You will be able to return home on the day of your surgery.
Some of the surgery procedures include
- Tendon Transfer
- Basal Phalangectomy
- Weil Osteotomy
How can I avoid it?
The important thing to avoid hammer toe is to wear proper fitting footwear. Do not sacrifice your physical health for fashion or cheap footwear. Heels should not be more than two inches. Wearing heels more than two inches long can put the pressure on your toes which causes them to bend.
The hammer toe will go away naturally after treatment without any further complications. You can start wearing proper fitting shoes from then onwards. Always remember that your health is the first priority. Fashion or any other factor should never be a hindrance to your health. Take care!