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Hammer, Mallet, and Claw Toes

Tuesday, 14 September 2021 00:00

There are three common toe deformities that podiatrists often see and treat in patients. Hammertoes are characterized by the downward bending of the toe at the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint, located in the middle of the toe. Mallet toes are characterized by the downward bending of the toe at the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint, located near the tip of the toe. Claw toes are characterized by an upwards bend of the toe at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, located at the base of the toe. All three of these deformities can cause pain and stiffness. Corns and calluses are more likely to develop on affected toes as they rub up against the shoes while you walk. If you have a painful toe deformity it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Christopher Hendrix from Bartlett, Tennessee. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Memphis and Bartlett, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
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