A hammer toe is a painful malformation or deformity in the feet and happens due to the weak muscles as well as damages on the toe’s joints and tendons. When the toes adjacent to the big toe or smallest toe in the feet, point upwards instead of lying flat, it is called a hammer toe or mallet toe syndrome. This problem is characterized by the bending of the first joint of the toe called the proximal interphalangeal joint. In this deformation, the toes curl abnormally. Hammer toe limits the toes mobility of the patient and causes pain. Below you can find the breakdown of the symptoms, reasons, and treatment for mallet toe or hammer toe and we would guide you on how Podiatric treatment Mandurah can help to manage such condition:
Symptoms of hammer toes:
The primary syndrome of this deformity is V-shaped toes pointing upside down and it gets difficult to flex them. The affected toes may also swell over time, develop callouses, cause a burning sensation and turn red. These afflicted toes are also susceptible to infection because of the less blood circulation. If you are a diabetic patient, it may become dangerous for you.
Types of hammer toes:
- Flexible hammertoes –It is known as the first stage of hammer toes problem. This condition is less severe and treatment is more effective at this stage.
- Rigid hammertoes – In short, this is the final stage of hammer toes. This condition is serious and occurs when the toes become fixed or the joints accidentally get misaligned. Most of the times patients with arthritis suffer from this type of syndrome. Surgical intervention may be required.
Causes of hammer toes
Wearing narrow, tight and short shoes are the main causes of hammertoes. These type of shoes create pressures on the toes to bend upward. Tendons and muscles in the toes become shorter and weak due to outside pressure of small shoes. This process compels toes to stay in the v shape or bent position. Individuals who generally have long toes suffer from the mallet toes syndrome. Apart from wearing ill-shaped shoes, underlying different medical conditions, genetic problems can also cause hammer toes.
How a podiatrist can help
There are several types of non-surgical treatments available for hammer toes:
- Insertion of orthotic devices:
Insertion of a bespoke orthotic device to control the tendon or muscle imbalance.
- Alteration in shoe wear:
Shoes which offer roomy toe space and low heels can be ideal to alleviate the pain.
- Cushioning calluses and corns:
Foot orthotics recommend and protective pads provided to shield the corns from irritation.
- Toe props and medications:
Custom-made toe props to realign the curled toe and reduce their spasticity. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can be taken only after consulting with the podiatrists to alleviate inflammation.
Conclusion: Anyone can develop hammer toes, but with proper treatment, the condition can be alleviated. Depends on the severity of the problem, hammer toes can be managed by conservative approach or surgical intervention. You may experience swelling, stiffness, and soreness after the treatment. You would be able to walk after the treatment but should not indulge in sports activities until the toe heals.
So consult Peel Podiatry today to restore your toe joint to a normal and healthy alignment with utmost care.