Do your toes curl under? Do they look crooked in your shoes?
Hammertoes, claw toes or mallet toes are toes that appear bent towards the floor. They look like they are curled underneath your feet and can look weird or unsightly. These toe problems usually occur in your lesser digits (toes 2 through 4) and can cause you pain, discomfort and you may even notice thickening of skin (a corn or a callus) forming on the top of your toes. It is not uncommon to have redness and swelling as well.
What causes hammertoes?
Hammertoes are usually caused by a muscle imbalance and over time this imbalance changes the structure of the foot which causes the toe(s) to bend. This condition can even be genetic! Additionally, hammertoes can be caused by wearing too-tight shoes that cause toes to curl under.
Luckily, there are treatment options available to you to help take care of your hammertoes:
- Change your shoe gear! You can prevent worsening of hammertoes by avoiding tight or constricting shoes.
- If there is a corn or callus on the top of your toes, you can prevent irritation by protecting it from pressure and friction caused by shoes. You can use pads or shields to do so. We have them in the office, ask us about them!
- Your muscle and tendon imbalance can be helped with the use of custom orthotics. Custom orthotics can help to reduce the amount of pressure applied to the parts of your feet to reduce the contracture and symptoms of painful hammertoes. Talk to us about custom orthotics and whether or not they can improve your condition.
- Have you tried all of the above and are still experiencing pain and discomfort? You may be a surgical candidate. However, a thorough consultation is needed in order to determine if you are a candidate.
Please schedule an appointment today to discuss what can be done about your toes! We have an office located in Manhasset and Huntington serving the Long Island community! We look forward to meeting you!