is a type of crooked toe that involve unnatural contracture, or bending, of your
toes. In most cases, a hammertoe is characterized by a toe malposition in which the end of your affected toe points down and the first joint of your same toe-your proximal interphalangeal
joint-points up. This crooked toe syndrome usually leads to rubbing within your shoe and pain. A hammertoe resembles an upside-down letter v when viewed from the side. This crooked toe syndrome most
commonly affects your second to fifth toes, though it may also affect your big toe. This health problem is more commonly experienced by women than men.
Footwear can contribute significantly to the development of hammertoes. Shoes that are too small force your toes into a curled position. Over time, your toe tendons adjust to this positioning,
causing your toe or toes to hold a hammered shape. Athletes may be especially susceptible, because of the increased forces on the toes from shoes that are too small or tight. Heel elevation in
footwear is also problematic, as it causes your toes to be pushed into the shoe?s toe box. Heel elevation additionally contributes to muscle imbalance. A common example of this is when your Achilles
tendon-the tendon at the back of your leg that attaches your calf muscles to your heel bone-is too tight, causing the tendons on the top of your foot that attach to your toes to work too hard and
hold your toes in an unnatural, elevated position.
Pain on the bottom of your foot, especially under the ball of your foot, is one of the most common symptoms associated with hammertoes. Other common signs and symptoms of hammertoes include Hammer toes
pain at the top of your bent toe from footwear pressure. Corns on the top of your bent toe. Redness and swelling
in your affected area. Decreased joint range of motion in your affected toe joints.
A hammertoe is usually diagnosed with a physical inspection of your toe. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, may be ordered if you have had a bone, muscle, or ligament injury in your toe.
Non Surgical Treatment
Inserts in your shoes can be used to help relieve pressure on the toes from the deformity. Splints/Straps. These can be used to help re-align and stretch your toes and correct the muscle imbalance
and tendon shortening. One of the most common types are toe stretchers like the yogatoe. Chiropody. A chiropodist can remove calluses or corns, areas of hard skin that have formed to make the foot
more comfortable.Steroid injections can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
If your hammer, claw, or mallet toe gets worse, or if nonsurgical treatment does not help your pain, you may think about surgery. The type of surgery you choose depends on how severe your condition
is and whether the toe joint is fixed (has no movement) or flexible (has some movement). A fixed toe joint often requires surgery to be straightened. A flexible toe joint can sometimes be
straightened without surgery. Surgery choices include Phalangeal head resection (arthroplasty), in which the surgeon removes part of the toe bone. Joint fusion (arthrodesis), in which the surgeon
removes part of the joint, letting the toe bones grow together (fuse). Cutting supporting tissue or moving tendons in the toe joint. How well surgery works depends on what type of surgery you have,
how experienced your surgeon is, and how badly your toes are affected.