Rigid vs. Flexible Hammertoes

Rigid vs. Flexible Hammertoes

High Heels Causing HammertoesUgghh!!!! As you are laying on the beach enjoying the sun and sand, do you look down at your feet and think, “My toes look like tiny little hammers!!!” If this is the case help is on its way. 

It can happen to any toe. Women are more likely to get pain associated with hammertoes than men because of the shoes they wear.

A hammertoe is a deformity of your toes.Typically the toe is bent at the middle joint, so that it resembles a hammer. Initially, hammertoes are flexible and can be corrected with simple measures but, if left untreated, they can become fixed and will require surgery. Hammertoe results from shoes that don't fit properly or a muscle imbalance.

Ladies, unfortunately, you may have to give up those gorgeous designer high heels for more sensible shoes. Shoes that narrow toward the toe may make your forefoot look smaller. But they also push the smaller toes into a bent position. Your toes will rub against the shoe, leading to the formation of corns and calluses, which further aggravate the condition. A higher heel forces the foot down and squishes the toes against the shoe, increasing the pressure and the bend in the toe. Eventually, the toe muscles become unable to straighten the toe, even when wearing a comfortable shoe.

There are two types of hammertoes:

Flexible Hammertoes - If the toe still can be moved at the joint, it's a flexible hammertoe. That's good, because this is an earlier, milder form of the problem. There may be several treatment options.

Rigid Hammertoes - If the tendons in the toe become rigid, they press the joint out of alignment. At this stage, the toe can't be moved. It usually means that surgery is needed.

If you have any of the above foot conditions, contact the professionals at Delaware’s Premier Podiatric practice, Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. Call Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr. at (302) 355-0056, or visit an Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. near you. We have three convenient office locations in Newark, Glasgow and Wilmington DE.


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