There are two types of Hammer toe
. Flexible hammer toes. If the toe can still be moved at the joint, it's a flexible hammer toe.
That's good, because this is an earlier, less-severe form of the problem. There may be several treatment options. Rigid hammer toes. If the tendons in the toe become rigid, they press the joint out
of alignment. At this stage, the toe can't be moved. This usually means surgery is required to correct the problem.
Hammer toes are most frequently caused by a muscle - tendon imbalance in the foot, and are seen both in adults and children. Foot muscles work in pairs to straighten and bend the toes. If your foot
has a biomechanical defect, the muscles tighten and the tendons shorten. Eventually, the toe muscles can?t straighten the toe, even when barefoot. Contributing factors are poor choices in footwear,
arthritis, or trauma.
For some people, a hammer toe is nothing more than an unsightly deformity that detracts from the appearance of the foot. However, discomfort may develop if a corn or callus develops on the end or top
of the toe. If pressure and friction continue on the end or top of the toe, a painful ulcer may develop. Discomfort or pain can lead to difficulty walking.
Most health care professionals can diagnose hammertoe simply by examining your toes and feet. X-rays of the feet are not needed to diagnose hammertoe, but they may be useful to look for signs of some
types of arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis) or other disorders that can cause hammertoe.
Non Surgical Treatment
For hammertoes that are still flexible, a podiatrist might recommend padding or taping the toes to relieve pain and orthotic inserts for shoes to minimize pressure and keep the toe properly aligned.
Anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroid injections can relieve pain and inflammation. For more advanced cases of hammertoe, a podiatrist might recommend a surgical procedure to cut the tendon,
allowing the toe to straighten. For hammertoes that have become rigid, a more complicated surgery might be needed, during which the podiatrist removes part of the bone at the deformed joint to allow
it to straighten.
Toes can be surgically realigned and made straight again. They can even be made shorter. The good news is that toes can be Hammer toes
corrected. Hammer toe surgery is often synonymous with ?toe shortening?,
?toe job? and/or ?toe augmentation?. Depending on the severity and length of the toe, there are several methods to surgically correct a hammer toe. In general, the surgery involves removing a portion
of the bone at the contracted joint, to realign the toe.