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Cause of Hammertoes

July 5, 2016

Hammertoes are a painful condition that can cause discomfort and reduce your quality of life. However, knowing what hammertoes are, what causes hammertoes and what to do about hammertoes can help you take care of your feet.

What are Hammertoes?


Hammertoes are a condition wherein the muscles and ligaments around the middle joint of the toe become imbalanced. When this happens, the affected toe bends in the middle of the joint and then becomes stuck in that position.

Hammertoes, consequently, are bent upward in the middle, then come back down at the tip of the toe, forming a triangle or tent shape.

What Causes Hammertoes?

Toe muscles work together to keep the toes in the right shape and moving fluidly while a person walks original viagra rezept. When the muscles stop working together, this can cause the toes to become bent unnaturally.

The muscles of the toes can become imbalanced for a variety of reasons. Poorly fitting shoes can push the toes into unnatural positions, causing muscle damage and injury. The worst shoes are those with pointy ends and high-heeled shoes.

Arthritis can also play a role in the formation of hammertoes, as do genetics. If your feet have flat arches or high arches, you’re more likely to develop this condition.

How Can You Identify Hammertoes?

If you are affected by hammertoes, you may notice that the middle joint of your toe is knobby, enlarged and rubs against the tops of your shoes. If you try to bend the toe, it may or may not bend for you. Hammertoes come in two types:

  • Flexible hammertoes. When hammertoes are still in their early stages, the toes will be flexible, even at the joint in the middle of the toe. This means that the toes can be bent by hand. People who have flexible hammertoes will have more treatment options than people who have rigid hammertoes.
  • Rigid hammertoes. Rigid hammertoes are a more advanced problem. Rigid hammertoes cannot be bent. Typically rigid hammertoes must be corrected through surgery.

In addition, hammertoes don’t always have to be bent upward. Very small toes may curl to the side instead of bending upward; this is still a form of hammertoes and is treated the same way.

Who Gets Hammertoes?

Women are more likely to get hammertoes than men because they are more likely to wear high-heeled shoes. However, both genders can get hammertoes.

If you believe that you have hammertoes, it’s important for you to contact a physician. Even if your problem is mild and causes little or no pain at this time, it may get worse without treatment. At Anchorage Foot and Ankle, we treat problems like hammertoes. Dr. Kaufman has the expertise to correct your problem and increase your comfort. Call us today at 907-344-2155.

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