Hammertoes are commonly caused from muscle imbalances typically from improper foot alignment. Each joint in our body has a muscle and tendon that pulls the joint in one direction and another muscle to oppose and pull in the opposite direction. If one of the muscles of the toe overpowers its opposing muscle, then the joint of the toe will be stuck in a bent position. Because the toe is constantly pulled in a bent position it will eventually stiffen.
Most of the discomfort caused by a Hammertoe is from tight fitting shoes. The first step in treatment is to assess your shoes, and where possible, use deeper wider shoes in the toe box. The next step is to make an appointment with your podiatrist to assess the problem. Dr. Fitzner will go over options to slow the progression of the deformity, decrease symptoms, and try to prevent surgery in the future.
If wider shoes, splinting, padding, and custom orthotics fail to relieve the discomfort associated with a hammertoe, foot surgery may be an option. There are several ways to surgically correct a hammertoe. Surgical variations depend on the health of the individual, the type of hammertoe, and the location of symptoms.