A hammer toe is a painful toe malformation in which the joint bends upward and resembles a hammer. It is seen as an abnormality, and it may be unattractive. This condition is also known as "constricted toe." When all other treatment options for a painful hammer toe have been exhausted, surgery may be the only method to repair the joint. A hammer toe is distinguished by bending of the toe at the primary, second, or third joint. A muscular imbalance often causes this condition.
When a muscle becomes too weak, the tendons in the toes may be strained. In the long term, this might result in joint deformity. The purpose of this article is to give a better understanding of what a hammer toe is.
The most typical sign of hammertoe is a bent toe or toes in the center. A person may face extra difficulties because of buckling toes. People with hammer toe may develop corns or calluses around the joint's apex because the toe grinds against ill-fitting shoes. It may also cause discomfort while stretching or moving the afflicted toe or toes around it. The severity of hammer toe symptoms varies. Common symptoms include:
Each toe's muscles function in pairs. A hammertoe may develop when the muscles in the toes become tense. A person's toe tendons and joints are under a lot of stress as a result of muscle strain.
People may be predisposed to this sort of joint malformation due to the type of foot they were born with. Hammertoes may form in straight, bendable feet due to the foot's inability to maintain its natural arch against the leveling of the arch. Since the extensor ligaments are more potent than the flexor tendons, hammertoes may occur in feet with a high arch.
High heels, for example, give minimal to no arch stability since they are ill-fitting and extremely thin. Stiletto heels put a lot of strain on the feet and joints. As a result, women are more prone to develop hamme rtoes than males.
Hammer toe may develop because of bunion pressure. Other autoimmune illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis may also raise the risk. Furthermore, hammer toe might occur as a consequence of neuromuscular disorders. Individuals with diabetes are more prone to hammer toe problems.
Wearing correctly fitted shoes may aid in the healing of a hammer toe caused by improper footwear. If a high arch causes the condition, toe cushions or insoles may be beneficial. These patches reduce discomfort and improve the look of the toe by shifting its position.
Bunions and corns are often treated with over-the-counter cushions, pads, or medicines. If they are bothersome or create anomalies in the toes, a doctor may recommend surgical removal.
Toe blisters should be avoided at all costs. Breaking blisters may cause pain and infection. Use over-the-counter (OTC) creams and cushions to reduce discomfort and prevent blisters from rubbing on the inside of shoes. Extending the toes may also aid in pain relief and straightening the broken toe.
If a person is unable to bend their toe, the only choice for restoring movement is surgery. There are surgical alternatives for relocating the toe, excision of malformed bones, and realignment of tendons and joints. Most surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures, allowing patients to return home on the same day.