What is a Hammer Toe?
Also known as hammer digit, crooked toe, bent toe, buckled toe. Crooked, bent or buckled toes that cause joints to protrude. Corns develop at the joint protrusions if repetitive shoe pressure is applied. Some toes are rigid and some are flexible. Toes that are flexible are referred to as reducible. The cause is an imbalance of the muscle and tendon structures to the toes. A hammer toe is a toe deformity characterized by a flexion deformity at the proximal interphalangeal joint with an extension deformity at the associated metatarsal phalangeal joint and as the distal interphalangeal joint.
How Pedors Can Help you
What are hammertoes?
A hammertoe is essentially a painful deformity that causes the middle of a toe to bend upwards, thus resulting in a "hammer".
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 Hammer Toes
However, the most popular shoe for hammertoes is the sport styled Pedors 800 Stretch Walker.
Know more about it here:
There are three main reasons why the muscles can get out of balance:
i) Genes: unfortunately you may have inherited a slightly unstable foot i.e. you may have a flat foot or on the other end of the scale, a high arched foot. Both can cause a hammertoe to develop.
iii) Injury: the main cause of injury to the toe is when you wear ill fitting shoes. Whether they are too pointy, too tight or too short. A lot of women suffer from hammertoes because of their tendency to wear high-heeled pointy-toed shoes, which put an awful amount of pressure on the toes.
Types of Hammertoes
a) Flexible hammertoes: if you can still move your to at the joint it is known as a flexible hammertoe. The is the less severe type as there's still room for different treatment options.
b) Rigid hammertoes: if you can't move your toe anymore because the joint has already been pressed out of alignment by rigid tendons, then it is known as a rigid hammertoe. The only way to fix this is through surgery.
Read more here.
What are the options for surgery?
Joint resection: An incision is made near the top of the toe. Tendons and ligaments may be cut to help strengthen the toe. In addition the end of the bone is taken out to also aid in the straightening (realignment) of the toe. Pins are added which are usually removed a few weeks later.
Fusion: Similar to joint resection the tendons and ligaments are cut to allow for straightening of the toe. In this method the ends of the bone are cut (not removed) and the toe is straightened. Screws and pins are added to keep the toe straight while the bone ends heal (fuse) together.
Pedorthist Recommends Pedors Shoes For Various Foot Problems
Bob Toth, C.Ped., a pedorthodist for 30 years, sees many individuals that benefit from Pedors footwear, especially nursing home residents. He says these shoes are lightweight with a velcro closure that is a feature requested by many. The soft, wide, high toe box design allows room and no pressure on toe deformities or swelling. The feature of being machine washable is great for cleaning the shoes for incontinence accidents or food spills. Many of the patients that he has delivered Pedors shoes to, have often asked for another pair on returning appointments.
Other Toe Deformities
What are Claw Toes?
Similar causative biomechanics to hammer toes as described above and often affects all five toes. A corn may be present at the tip of the toe as well as at the dorsal bony prominences. Often associated with cavus foot types where there is a high arch foot.
What are Mallet Toes?
A toe deformity caused by a flexion deformity at the distal interphalangeal joint. A corn may be present at the tip of the toe as well as at the bony prominence created by flexion of the distal interphalangeal joint.
What is Overlapping Toes?
A toe deformity characterized by a primarily transverse plane deformity and the positioning of one toe over another.
What is Varus Rotated Toe?
Where one toe positions underneath another, most common in 4th and 5th toes characterized by a frontal plane deformity combined with a traverse plane deformity.
What is Hallux Hammer Toe?
This is where the hallux or big toe is a hammer toe. It is common for a corn to be present on the distal tip of the hallux.
What is Floating Toe?
Floating toe is a deformity characterized by the sagittal plane elevation of the affected toe in relation to the other adjacent toes. When standing the toe does not touch the floor. Commonly caused by surgery or injury to the affected toe or a shortened metatarsal bone.