The primary driver behind a hammertoe is an imbalance in the tendons, ligaments, and muscles that are responsible for holding your toe straight.
What are hammertoes?
A hammertoe is a toe that is bent at the middle joint. This bend then causes your toe to contract upward. Hammertoe usually occurs in your second toe, but you can also develop hammertoes in your third and fourth toes.
Hammertoes are typically not inherently dangerous but they can create chronic pain development, such as calluses and corns on top of your toes, which can make wearing shoes painful.
Hammertoes are usually progressive and do not go away on their own. If you suspect that you are developing hammertoe, contact our office. Early intervention makes a big difference! Also if you have diabetes, it’s especially important that you seek immediate treatment.
What causes hammertoes?
Generally a hammertoe develops as a result of an imbalance in the tendons, ligaments, and muscles that are responsible for holding your toe straight. The problem usually stems from a mechanical or neurological problem that offsets the delicate balance between the soft tissue groups by allowing the tissue to pull up on the toe at your middle joint.
There are several conditions that can contribute to the development of hammertoes, such as:
- Shoes that crowd your toes
- A long second toe