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Hammertoe & Mallet Toe

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Hammertoe Pain

What are Hammertoe and Mallet Toe?

Hammertoe and Mallet Toe are deformities that usually occur as a result of trauma or wearing ill-fitting shoes. When toes are forced into an unnatural position over a long period of time, the ligaments can tighten and contract, causing the toes to curl. A bending of the toe’s middle joint is known as Hammertoe, while the same condition in the toe’s upper joint is called Mallet Toe. Claw Toe refers to the same type of bending in all four of the foot’s smaller toes.

FAQ: Hammertoe & Mallet Toe

What causes Hammertoe?

Hammertoe and Mallet Toe usually occur as a result of previous foot trauma or wearing ill-fitting shoes. Poor circulation and long periods of inactivity can also lead to Hammertoe and Mallet Toe as well as injury to the brain or spinal cord. Patients whose foots second toe is longer than the big toe have an increase likelihood of developing these conditions.

How are these conditions treated?

A doctor will usually be able to diagnose Hammertoe and Mallet Toe with a simple examination but may order an X-ray of the foot if surgery is required. Wearing roomy, low-heeled shoes, using shoe inserts, and practicing foot exercises can reverse damage to the toes. Over-the-counter medication can be an effective way to manage pain during treatment.Surgical correction can be very successful in relieving the pain caused by hammertoe when conservative treatments have been exhausted. Utilizing the latest in medical technology, we are able to correct this deformity with rigid implants in a more cosmetically appealing manner.

Is treatment necessary for Hammertoe, Mallet Toe, and Claw Toe?

The sooner Hammertoe and Mallet toe are treated, the less likely surgery will be needed to manage the condition. Untreated, Hammertoe and Mallet Toe can lead to painful corns and calluses. With early cases of Hammer and Mallet toe, toes maintain flexibility. Over time, however, the tendons will tighten, causing the toes to become permanently stiff. In these advanced cases of Hammertoe and Mallet toe, surgery may be required to straighten the toes.

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