What Are Hammertoes?

Hammertoe is a painful foot condition which causes difficulty walking and performing other foot movements. Your podiatrist can evaluate painful toes to determine the cause and recommend treatment to restore pain-free walking. Don’t hesitate to seek treatment from a foot specialist for hammertoes and other conditions which impair your ability to walk.

What Does a Hammertoe Look Like?

Hammertoe occurs due to an unnatural bend in the middle joint of the toe. Often, this causes the toe to bend sideways at an angle that is not natural to the toes. A toe which is suffering from hammertoe is bent such that it has a hammer-like or claw-like appearance. The toe may also exhibit corns or calluses, which form when it rubs against the sides of your footwear or adjacent toes.

What Causes a Hammertoe?

Hammertoes are caused by wearing improperly fitting footwear. Shoes that don’t have a large enough toe box to accommodate your toes in a natural position cause them to bend, forming hammertoes. High-heeled shoes can also cause hammertoe. Wearing these shoes puts your weight on your toes while at the same time confining them to a small space. The toes and balls of your feet are not meant to support your body’s weight, and constant pressure causes them to bend outwards unnaturally.

What Are the Treatment Options For Hammertoes?

Your podiatrist will recommend treatment for your hammertoe based on the severity of your condition. If your toe still possesses some flexibility, non-surgical treatments such as orthotic inserts in your shoes can reposition your toe to straighten it out over time. If your toe has limited or no flexibility, surgical treatment to reposition the toe may be recommended to restore your ability to walk without pain.

Hammertoe and other conditions shouldn’t impair your ability to move or enjoy your life. Visit  Podiatry Centers of Austin today for evaluation and treatment of your condition to restore the health of your feet. Call or click on our website to schedule an appointment and learn more about our 35 locations.