Can You Avoid Hammertoe?

Can You Avoid Hammertoe?

If you’ve noticed that your second, third, or fourth toes are starting to buckle and have calluses on the top of the joint, you might be struggling with hammertoe.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs when the joint in the middle of your toe bends upwards, in the shape of a hammer. It most commonly happens to your middle three toes, although a curled baby toe is also considered a hammertoe.

Common symptoms for hammertoe besides your toe being in a bent shape include blisters on the top of your toes from rubbing against your shoes, pain in your toe joints, pain when you walk, inflamed or red skin, and stiffness in your toe that worsens over time.

If you struggle with hammertoe, you may wonder if there’s anything you can do to avoid getting it in the first place. The short answer is yes. Our expert team of podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Institute of Colorado give you all the information you need on how to prevent and treat hammertoe.

Causes of and risk factors for hammertoe

Hammertoe is caused by an imbalance in the ligaments and muscles in your toe. This is what causes your joint to buckle and become stuck in that position. This imbalance can happen for a number of reasons, including:

Another factor that can put you at risk for developing hammertoe is wearing poor-fitting shoes.

How you can prevent hammertoe

While having a genetic predisposition for hammertoe can’t be avoided, you can work on hammertoe prevention by investing in properly fitting shoes. Make sure to wear shoes that have a wide and roomy toe box, unlike high heels and pointed flats. 

You can also ask our team about getting custom orthotics and extra padding for your shoes to decrease your risk of developing hammertoe.

Treatment options

If you do find that you have hammertoe, our team has a few different treatment options besides padding and orthotics.

We offer other non-surgical options like wearing a splint or strap on the toe and taking anti-inflammatory medications to ease the joint distress.

If your hammertoe doesn’t show any improvements with these treatments and becomes stiff and rigid, our team recommends looking into our surgical options to improve your quality of life.

If you need treatment for your hammertoe, don’t hesitate to call our Foot & Ankle Institute of Colorado office located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at 719-745-8806. You can also set up an appointment with us by using our online scheduling tool today. 

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