Little toes can become a big problem if they’re not given room to move. Those little toes actually perform a big job, helping you balance and move forward when you walk or run. When the front of the foot is very wide and shoes squish the toes, hammer toes can develop. The toe joints buckle and begin to look like little hammers, hence the name.
Over time, the muscles and tendons may become even more imbalanced, making the bump on the joint more severe. When this happens, it may cause quite a bit of pain and rub against your shoes, leading to the buildup of corns. Hammer toes should be treated early to slow or stop the progression of the condition.
Treating Hammer Toes
Hammer toes can be treated and corrected in a number of ways, depending on the severity of the condition. You may have a flexible hammer toe, where the joint can move, but it can become rigid and immobile if left untreated. For mild forms of hammer toe, Dr. Smith may recommend a different type of shoe or a corrective toe splint. Any corns can be padded to reduce rubbing and irritation. For more advanced cases, a surgical outpatient procedure may be necessary to release the buckled joint.
If one of your toe joints seems to pop up above the others, see Dr. Smith. He will examine your toes to determine the joint flexibility and create a treatment plan specifically for your feet.