Toe deformities can be attributed to an imbalance in the toe muscles and tendons, tight-fitting shoes, injury, or certain diseases that increase the likelihood that a toe will bend in the shape of a hammer or a mallet. A hammertoe bends at the middle joint, while a mallet toe (or claw toe) bends at the joint nearest to the toenail, so perhaps there are only truly two if you don’t count the claw.
Initially, a bent toe may not be cause for alarm, but as the condition moves along, the tendons and ligaments and tissues of the toe can tighten further, thereby preventing any bending at all and causing considerable pain and discomfort. As this condition becomes more permanently bent, it will also cause the affected toes to rub on your footwear, causing the formation of corns and calluses.
Risk factors for developing toe deformities
Some individuals are more prone to developing these abnormalities. Some of the factors to be aware of are:
- Sex—Females are considered to be more susceptible to developing these conditions.
- Your age—People fifty years of age or older are more likely to develop hammertoes along with bunions.
- The length of your toes—In certain people, when the second toe is longer than the largest toe, it may increase the chances of getting a toe deformity.
- Diseases—People who suffer from diabetes and arthritis are also more susceptible.
When hammertoes cause you pain and discomfort, the pressure and pain can often be alleviated with specially designed orthotic shoe inserts and pads.
If you are suffering complications with hammertoes, making an appointment with an experienced board-certified podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment is essential, so be sure to schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, IN. Our highly qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!