Hammer toe is a deformity that causes your toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward. While it most commonly affects the second or third toe, any toe can develop into a hammer toe. This condition can appear as early as birth, but it more commonly develops over time due to ill-fitting shoes. Arthritis can also lead to hammer toes.
Other common causes of hammer toe include:
Any of these conditions could cause a dislocation of the toe’s middle joint, and then lead to developing a hammer toe.
In more extreme cases, spinal cord or peripheral nerve damage can cause all of your toes to curl downward.
If you experience discomfort or even pain when you walk, or when you stretch your toes, and you notice that one or more of your toes is pointed downward, you may have hammer toe. Other symptoms include corns or calluses.
Dr. Del Monte will conduct a physical exam and take X-rays if needed, to look for any bone, muscle, or ligament injuries in your toe. If you are experiencing pain, or see joint dislocation in one or more of your toes, call Dr. Del Monte for a full diagnosis.
If Dr. Del Monte determines that you have only a mild case of hammer toe, you may be able to manage the condition by wearing properly fitting shoes. If the problem is caused by a high arch, the solution can be as simple as wearing toe pads or insoles in your shoes. In the case of bunions and corns, you can easily purchase over-the-counter (OTC) cushions, pads, or medications, or Dr. Del Monte may suggest their removal. Patients can manage any blister-related pain by using OTC creams and cushions and, finally, gently stretching your toes may also ease pains you are experiencing.
If your case of hammer toe is more severe, surgery may be the only option for restoring movement to your toe. During this procedure, Dr. Del Monte will reposition your toe, remove any deformed or damaged bone, and realign your tendons. This is an outpatient procedure.
Again, if you suspect you have hammer toe, call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Del Monte.
At Del Monte Podiatry, we accept most major insurance plans. We don't currently accept Aetna at this time. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed. Aetna: Please note that we are NOT in network with Aetna. We do NOT accept Aetna at this time.
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