An abnormal bend in your toe may be a sign of hammer toe. Christina Schilero, DPM, AACFAS, diagnoses and treats hammer toes in patients of all ages at Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. Hammer toes are easiest to treat in their early stages, so don’t hesitate to call the office or book an appointment online today.
A hammer toe is a foot deformity that causes a contracture, which is an abnormal bend, in your toe joint. An abnormal bend in the middle joint of your toe is a hammer toe. When the contracture occurs in the joint closest to your toenail, it’s called a mallet toe. Both conditions typically affect the second, third, fourth, and fifth toes.
Hammer toe and mallet toe can make it difficult and painful to move one or more of your toes. Corns and calluses may form in places where your toe rubs against the inside of your shoe.
If left untreated, a hammer toe or mallet toe can become permanently fixed in a bent position. After a hammer toe becomes rigid, surgery is the only treatment option. It’s important to call Dr. Schilero right away as soon as you notice an abnormal bend in your toe.
Most hammer toes occur when there’s an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally keep your toe straight. The imbalance causes instability that can result in contracture.
Conditions that can lead to a hammer toe include:
Additionally, wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight can force your toes into a cramped position and lead to hammer toe.
Dr. Schilero can diagnose a hammer toe or mallet toe by examining your foot and reviewing your symptoms. She may take an X-ray to further evaluate the severity of your condition.
Hammer toes and mallet toes don’t go away on their own and usually worsen over time. If your toe is still flexible, Dr. Schilero may recommend nonsurgical treatment such as:
If the toe is rigid and painful, or if it has an open wound, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Schilero is a skilled foot surgeon who specializes in innovative procedures for Hammer toes.
For the timely treatment of hammer toes, call Christina Schilero, DPM, AACFAS, or book an appointment online today.