What is a Hammer Toe?
Hammertoes are foot distortions that occur due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. A hammertoe is specifically an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe. It gets its name because the toe resembles a hammer when the joint is stuck in an upward position.
The hammertoe may get rigid, with associated pain, burning sensation, and swelling at the top of the bent toe and the ball of your foot.Moving the affected toe may cause pain and make walking difficult. Corns and calluses can also result from the toe rubbing against the inside of your shoes.
How Pedors Can Help you
What are hammertoes?
A hammertoe is essentially a painful toe that causes the middle of a toe to bend upwards. A hammertoe can occur when the muscles in your toe no longer work together and they get out of balance so to speak. This imbalance causes a lot of pressure on the toe's tendons and joints, which in turn force the toe into a hammer-head shape.
Pedors for Hammertoes
Many people opt for shoes where the entire upper part is made with a material that stretches and provides support, like the Pedors Classic or Pedors Classic Max. Our most popular shoe for hammertoes is the sport styled Pedors 800 Stretch Walker.
To learn more about hammertoes, click here:
Three Reasons Muscles Get Out of Balance
i) Genes: You may have inherited a predisposition to develop them. Flat feet or high arches can also lead to hammertoes.
ii) Shoes: Ill-fitting, narrow, and high heel shoes put a lot of pressure on the toes and joints. Little or no arch support can also lead to developing hammertoes.
iii) Disease: People with diabetes or arthritis, have an increased risk of developing hammertoes along with other foot conditions.
Types of Hammertoes
a) Flexible: With a flexible hammertoe, it is still developing and the toes are still able to move at the joint
b) Semi-rigid: The hammertoe is starting to stiffen more
c) Rigid: The toe can no longer move because the tendons/tissues have tightened
Hammertoes can be very painful and make even walking difficult.
Is there a Surgery Option?
Surgery may be recommended if your pain is severe or your hammertoe affects your daily activities and non-surgical treatments haven’t helped. During the surgery, the surgeon may remove the bony prominence on your toe and align the joint, or insert a steel pin to correct your toe’s position. It is an outpatient procedure and typically takes four to six weeks for recovery.
What are Non-Surgery Options?
We provide orthopedic shoes made of a unique, stretchable material, that are perfect for those with painful foot conditions. A shoe with good arch support can slow the progression of the condition. Many people opt for shoes where the entire upper is made from a stretch material, like the Pedors Classic, Pedors Classic Max or the sporty Pedors 800 Stretch Walker.
Other Toe Distortions
Your foot has 28 bones. The first toe has 2 joints and the other four have 3 joints; located at the base of your toes, the middle and the top, closest to the toenail.
Hammertoes are often mixed up with other toe conditions. Below are the differences.
- Claw toes: The bend is in the first, big toe and second joint
- Hammer toes: The bend is in the second (middle) toe joint
- Mallet toes: The bend is in the third toe joint
What are Overlapping Toes?
This toe condition is basically the positioning of one toe over another.
What is Varus Rotated Toe?
This toe condition is when a toe is positioned underneath another, most commonly affecting the 4th and 5th toes.
What is Hallux Hammertoe?
This toe condition is where the hallux or first, big toe is a hammer toe. It is also common for a corn to be present on the tip of the toe.
What is a Floating Toe?
This toe condition is when a toe sticks up in the air rather than in the aligned position of other toes. The affected toe may even "cross over" on an adjacent toe. This typically tends to develop in response to physical trauma.
Pedorthist Recommends Pedors Shoes
Bob Toth, C.Ped., has been a pedorthist (footwear specialist) for over 30 years. He sees many individuals that have benefited from Pedors footwear, especially nursing home residents. He says Pedors shoes are lightweight with a velcro closure that is a feature that is often requested by many. The soft, wide, high toe box design provides room that relieves pressure that is often put on toes and feet. The added feature of being machine washable gives added value to the shoes. Many of the patients that he has delivered Pedors shoes to, have often asked for another pair.