Hammer toes are little toes that curl under or appear buckled. The toe joint typically curls as a result of muscle imbalance or tight tendons. Without the proper care the toes may become sore and difficult to move. Your podiatrist can treat your hammer toes and improve your mobility.
After a thorough examination of your feet, your podiatrist will assess how the hammer toe is compromising you and your movement. They may suggest an x-ray to see the amount of deformity as well. There are two types of hammer toes, flexible and rigid.
A flexible joint can be straightened by the fingers and often does not cause pain. A rigid joint cannot be moved, even by the fingers, and is often painful and may restrict normal movement.
Mild symptoms may be eased by a simple change in shoes. The use of a splint to hold the toe in proper position may also help Severe symptoms will usually require surgery. Surgery for a flexible joint may involve cutting a tight tendon and repositioning it.
Surgery for a rigid joint may involve removal of a piece of bone to help straighten the toe. Most hammer toe surgeries are out-patient and require minimal healing time. To minimize hammer toes utilize shoes that fit your feet properly.
Make sure they are wide enough and long enough to accommodate your foot. With proper care from you podiatrist you can be free from hammer toe pain.