A hammer toe is a toe that tends to remain bent at the middle joint in a claw-like position. This is potentially very painful. There are two types of hammer toe.
flexible hammer toe
has the ability to be straightened manually.
rigid hammer toe
cannot be pulled straight and can be extremely painful. After time, the top of the toe may press up against the shoe, potentially causing corns or calluses (thickened skin), which are also painful.
The sooner a hammer toe is treated, the more favorable the outcome. If you suspect you have this condition, contact your doctor.
Bunions, corns, or persistent calluses on your feet
Frequent use of the inappropriate footwear (listed above)
If you experience any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to hammer toe. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.
A toe that buckles under
Corns on the top of a toe
Calluses on the sole of the foot or bottom of the toe
Pain in the middle joint of a toe
Discomfort on the top of a toe
Difficulty finding any shoes that fit comfortably
Cramping in a toe, and sometimes also the foot and leg
Infections or ulcers in a toe
Redness or swelling at a toe joint
Difficult or painful motion of a toe joint
Pain in the ball of the foot or at the base of a toe
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical examination of the toe.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Splinting the affected toe
Switching to properly sized footwear with roomy toe boxes
Splints, straps, cushions, or corn pads to relieve symptoms
Applying an appropriate moisturizing cream to keep the skin soft
Severe cases require an operation to straighten the joint.
Tendons may be cut or transferred.
The middle joint of the toe may be fused together.
If you are diagnosed with hammer toe, follow your doctor's instructions.
To help reduce your chances of getting hammer toe, take the following steps:
Avoid wearing poorly fitting or narrow-toed shoes.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a