Hammertoe is a common foot deformity that affects the toes, typically the second, third, or fourth toe. This deformity causes the affected toe to resemble a hammer or a claw. Hammertoe can be flexible or rigid, and it often results from a muscle or tendon imbalance in the toes.
Hammertoe can develop due to various factors, including:
- Arthritis: Certain forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the joints in the toes and lead to hammertoe.
- Foot Structure: Some people are born with a foot structure that makes them more prone to hammertoe.
- Footwear: Tight or ill-fitting shoes, especially those with narrow, pointed toe boxes, can force the toes into an abnormal position.
- Muscle and Ligament Imbalances: Weak or imbalanced muscles and ligaments in the toes can contribute to the development of hammertoe.
- Trauma: Injuries to the toe can lead to hammertoe.
The symptoms of hammertoe can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but common symptoms include:
- Corns and Calluses: The bent toe may rub against the shoe, causing the development of corns or calluses.
- Inflammation and Redness: The affected area may become swollen and red.
- Limited Range of Motion: This can cause reduced flexibility in the affected toe.
- Pain or Discomfort: The pain can occur at the top of the bent toe or along the ball of the foot.
Hammertoe is a treatable condition, and early intervention can help prevent it from becoming more severe. If you suspect you have hammertoe or are experiencing foot pain, please request an appointment online or call (559) 256-5200 to schedule a consultation with one of our fellowship-trained foot doctors, Dr. Francis Glaser or Dr. Devin Mangold.
Our Fellowship-Trained Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Specialists
The Foot & Ankle Center is designed to provide our foot and ankle patients with comprehensive education and exceptional nonsurgical and surgical care through the combined knowledge, experience, and expertise of our specialty-trained foot and ankle surgeons.