“Good. He recommended the course of action that I thought he would but also respective of the fact that several approaches can be taken and he explained the differences and expected results. Also understand more about my feet. “
The foot is a highly mechanical apparatus, made of many bones and other coordinated structures. The foot carries the entire weight of the body and propels us forward when we stand, walk, and run. Several common deformities of the toes claw toe, hammertoes, and mallet toe often cause pain and a loss of function in the use of the foot. Failure to treat these conditions may contribute to the development of serious and disabling changes in habitual ways of walking and carrying the body.
Claw toe, mallet toe, and hammer toe are all deformities of the toes. While they are somewhat similar in appearance, each has specific characteristics. Variations in the three conditions are caused by differences in the direction the joints of the affected toes bend, as well as in degrees of deformity.
Toe deformities are often congenital, occurring for example, in some people with muscular dystrophy. People with high arches, or those who have a tendency to rotate their feet inward while walking are susceptible to deformities of the toes, as are those with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis and people with diabetes.
Proper evaluation is the first step in understanding toe deformities and the problems they present. Seeking early evaluation for disorders of the toes and feet is always a good choice, and can make a significant difference in controlling the condition.
Hammer toe is caused by an inherited muscle imbalance or abnormal bone length. It may occur in children who outgrow their shoes rapidly. In this condition one or more small toes buckle when the middle joint (the PIP joint) contracts. This causes the tendons to shorten.
A foot with a bunion will often have a hammer toe also. Over time, the bunion slants the big toe toward and then under the second toe, the most frequently hammered toe. This forces the second toe to rise into a claw-like position.
A hammer toe can lead to severe pain and pressure. Like claw toe, it creates extra stress in the ball of the foot, often leading to the development of corns and calluses.
The main cause of hammer toe is wearing tight shoes that crowd the toes, or high heels. It may also be brought on by an injury.
The cause of the condition is a tightening of the ligaments and tendons of the toe, causing a buckling of the joint of the toe. The result is a cocking of the toe upward, whereas in a normal foot, the toes lie flat. Shoes can then rub on the top of the cocked toe, eventually causing painful corns or calluses. If the deformity is not treated, the toe may become permanently fixed and rigid.
A hammer toe may also develop because of:
Besides pain and its claw-like appearance, symptoms of hammer toe include:
Treatment for hammer toe can be as simple as having the corn that has developed on the toe trimmed by a doctor to relieve pain and swelling. If a bunion is present, that condition may require specific treatment. Other recommendations may include:
If the hammer toe has become is rigidly fixed in an inflexible position, surgery may be required. The goal of surgery is to realign the toe and improve function or to lengthen the tendons by removing part of the proximal phalanx in older patients. Procedures may include:
The total cost of hammertoes treatment can vary depending on the type of treatment used, the diagnostic techniques employed, and the additional test and exams conducted. During your consultation, our experienced professionals will discuss the potential costs and help you choose the best treatment options to achieve your desired results.
Find out more about treating hammertoes in Artesia, Rancho Cucamonga, or any of our other locations – contact us today and schedule your consultation. Dr. Shawn Rabbani, a skilled podiatric specialist with years of experience.
Any medical or health advice provided will be approved by a medically-trained and qualified professional unless a clear statement otherwise. The information provided on this site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between patient and physician. Consult with your physician regarding a proper treatment plan for you.
The team at My Foot Clinic are highly trained and widely recognized as the best podiatrist in and around Reseda, Canoga Park, West Hills, Northridge, Chatsworth, Tarzana, Encino, Van Nuys, Artesia, Cerritos, and Norwalk.