Hammer Toe Pain

HammertoeOverview

Uneven muscle tension results in the distortion of one or several of the small toes. (Hammer toe) Pressure points develop at the raised middle joint as well as at the tip of the toe and underneath the metatarsal head. In the beginning, when the misalignment can still be corrected, it often suffices to lengthen the tendon and to cut a notch into the capsule. In a contracted misalignment, part of the middle joint is removed to form a replacement joint. Modern surgical techniques preserve the metatarsophalangeal joint (Weil or Helal osteotomies).

Causes

Hammertoe and mallet toe have been linked to certain shoes. High-heeled shoes or footwear that’s too tight in the toe box can crowd your toes into a space that’s not large enough for them to lie flat. This curled toe position may eventually persist even when you’re barefoot. Trauma. An injury in which you stub, jam or break a toe may make it more likely for that digit to develop hammertoe or mallet toe. Nerve injuries or disorders. Hammertoe and mallet toe are more common in people who have nerve damage in their feet, which often occurs with such medical problems as a stroke or diabetes.

HammertoeSymptoms

Common reasons patients seek treatment for toe problems are toe pain on the knuckle. Thick toe calluses. Interference with walking/activities. Difficulty fitting shoes. Worsening toe deformity. Pain at the ball of the foot. Unsightly appearance. Toe deformities (contractures) come in varying degrees of severity, from slight to severe. The can be present in conjunction with a bunion, and develop onto a severe disfiguring foot deformity. Advanced cases, the toe can dislocate on top of the foot. Depending on your overall health, symptoms and severity of the hammer toe, the condition may be treated conservatively and/or with surgery.

Diagnosis

Your healthcare provider will examine your foot, checking for redness, swelling, corns, and calluses. Your provider will also measure the flexibility of your toes and test how much feeling you have in your toes. You may have blood tests to check for arthritis, diabetes, and infection.

Non Surgical Treatment

Changing the type of footwear worn is a very important step in the treatment of hammer toes. When choosing a shoe, make sure the toe box (toe area) is high and broad, and hammertoes can accommodate the hammer toes. A shoe with a high, broad toe box will provide enough room in the forefoot area so that there is less friction against the toes. Other conservative treatments include using forefoot products designed to relieve hammer toes, such as hammer toe crests and hammer toe splints. These devices will help hold down the hammer toe and provide relief to the forefoot. Gel toe shields and gel toe caps are also recommended to eliminate friction between the shoe and the toe, while providing comfort and lubrication.

Surgical Treatment

In some cases, usually when the hammertoe has become more rigid and painful, or when an open sore has developed, surgery is needed. Often patients with hammertoe have bunions or other foot deformities corrected at the same time. In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, the foot and ankle surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your deformity, the number of toes involved, your age, your activity level, and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.

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Radiology Case

Hammer toes is a condition in which the middle joint in one or more of your smaller toes remains contracted. The tendons and ligaments in the toes become tight from muscle imbalance, which causes the toes to curl. Movement can be restricted and might lead to the formation of corns on the top of the toes and pain in the ball of the foot. If you suffer from hammer toe, choose a running shoe with a wide and high toe box for maximal comfort. Additionally, hammer toe splints and crests are available to help hold the curling toes flat for greater balance.

The change in color of feet is an indicator of some disease. For example, in case of foot infection, reddish discoloration of feet would be observed due to swelling and increased blood supply to the affected part. The infection which results into cellulitis is caused by bacterial strains like the Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. Because of the infection, the pattern red coloration is observed in the form of blotchy patches on the skin. In case of inadequate blood supply, foot becomes pale in color. Sometimes, in venous insufficiency, the leg may turn purple or bluish.

Hammer toes form sometimes due a structural abnormality in the feet, but more often they are caused by improper footwear. For example, women who wear high heels very frequently diagnosed with this problem. Extra pressure is applied to the toes causing them to deform and distort. There are different toe straightening devices which can be used to cure the condition and a change of footwear may be all that is required to see the deformity correct itself. Any new exercise routine that requires use of feet may cause sudden foot cramps in the mornings. Running, jogging and cycling could give the feet mild to severe cramping in the morning.hammer toe splint

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Hammer toes hurt- and once they become stiff, there is little you can do about them so far as treating them at home. Get a handle on your hammer toes now by trying at-home toe exercises that will both keep your toes flexible and help train your muscles and tendons to keep from stiffening your toes up. Have you ever woke up in the morning and said to yourself, “Self, what is an auto safety hammer?” If that is you; you need to hear what I have to say about the auto safety hammer. I will explain its usage and why it’s a good idea to own one. read more

A bunion is a very visible bump in the big toe joint. The bump is actually a protruding bone heading towards the inside of the foot. If the movement goes on, overlapping of toes might happen. There is also Tailor’s bunion or bunionette with similar manifestation, but the toe involve is the small one. There is swelling, inflammation, and soreness when one has a bunion. I know that there are many reasons for hammer toes, small shoes being one of them. But still, I find some troubling resemblances and I am starting to wonder if there is a relation between hammer toe and DD.

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