Health & Wellness

What is Hammertoe Syndrome and How Can it be Treated

Hammertoe syndrome is a deformity of the foot that affects the toes. It is characterized by an abnormal bend of the middle joint of one or more toes, resulting in them being held in a claw-like position. This condition can be painful and lead to difficulty walking and problems with blisters and corns. Depending on the severity, hammertoes may require medical attention.

The cause of hammertoe syndrome is not always known, but it can develop due to wearing ill-fitting shoes, genetics, or age-related muscular weakness. Usually, all four small toes are affected at once, but it’s possible for only one toe to be involved.

Fortunately, there are several available treatments depending on how severe your case of hammertoes is. Non-surgical treatments involve wearing shoes with a wide toe box and using specially designed padding to help reduce the pressure on your toes. Orthotic devices can also be worn that will hold the affected joint in a straighter position and prevent flexing, which will help alleviate pain.

If you find that non-surgical treatments are insufficient, surgery may be necessary. Surgery involves releasing or lengthening tendons in order to straighten the affected toe(s). This is usually done through an incision at the top of the foot, although some newer minimally invasive procedures are being developed.

Although hammertoe syndrome can be painful, it’s important to remember that several treatments are available. Read this infographic provided below to explore non-surgical options, like orthotic devices and wider shoes before you consider surgery.

Infographic Design By Ankle & Foot Centers of America

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