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Understanding Hammertoes, Claw Toes, and Mallet Toes

Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00

The toes can become bent into a variety of different positions, and those toes are either known as hammertoes, claw toes, or mallet toes. Hammertoes occur when the toes are bent downwards causing the middle joint to be raised. Hammertoes often affect the second toe, and they usually occur with bunions. Claw toes cause the four smaller toes to curl up because the middle joints bend down and the joints connecting the toes to the foot bend up. A mallet toe occurs when the joint closest to the tip of the toe begins to bend downwards. These toe conditions are often a result of shoes that are too tight, but they can be linked to conditions such as diabetes and arthritis. Because these conditions are often painful, patients who are suffering from one of these conditions should consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to help find the correct treatment method and suggest surgery if necessary.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Chicago Podiatric Surgeons. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chicago and Tinley Park, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
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