The Main Causes of Hammertoes


A hammertoe is a deformity affecting the joints in your toes. One of the main reasons patients seek treatments for hammertoes is to eliminate the negative impact of the condition on their self-image and to restore joint function, allowing them to walk and run comfortably. Hammertoes cause pain and swelling affecting how you walk. It is important to self-diagnose your Huntsville hammertoes in their initial stages and seek treatment as soon as possible to preserve joint function and prevent disease progression. Collaborating with an experienced care provider can increase your treatment success and ensure you achieve desired outcomes.

What are the signs and symptoms of hammertoes?

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of hammertoes is a critical part of self-diagnosis. Moreover, hammertoes progress gradually. An early diagnosis may prevent the occurrence of adversities and ensure that you preserve joint function. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of hammertoes that patients report include pain and deformity. The best explanation for these symptoms is a joint that points upwards due to weakened foot or leg muscles and malfunctioning tendons. Hammertoes cause difficulty in moving the affected toe, thus affecting foot function. Your doctor will review your signs and symptoms to identify the severity of your condition and thus recommend an appropriate approach to restore joint position.

Are there different types of hammertoes?

There are three different types of hammertoes. Your doctor will conduct a comprehensive physical examination to identify your type of hammertoes. An accurate hammertoes diagnosis will lead to an appropriate treatment recommendation to restore joint function and eliminate symptoms interfering with your well-being. The following are the three types of hammertoes:

  • Flexible hammertoes: You can still move the affected joint during this hammertoes stage.
  • Semi-rigid: This stage causes the hammertoe to stiffen, causing difficulty moving the affected toe.
  • Rigid hammertoes: You may no longer move your rigid hammertoe due to the tightening of the affected tendons and soft tissues.

 What are the risk factors for hammertoes?

Various factors increase your susceptibility to developing hammertoes. A regular foot exam will determine your predisposition to hammertoes and promote preventative measures against the disease. The following are the risk factors of hammertoes:

  • Genes: You are born with a specific type of foot which may predispose you to this joint deformity. For example, flat flexible feet can cause hammertoes due to efforts to enhance stability. You may also develop hammertoes with a high arch because the extensor tendons may overpower the flexors causing stability issues.
  •  Wearing improperly fitting  shoes: Some shoes promoting poor arch support include high heels. It would be wise to avoid too narrow or ill-fitting shoes to reduce pressure on your toes and joints, thus limiting your risk of hammertoes.
  • Neuromuscular disease: Diabetic patients may also experience poor blood flow or neuropathy, predisposing them to hammertoes complications. For example, this neuromuscular disease may cause increased pressure in the toes, causing hammertoes with ulceration leading to toe loss unless restorative treatments begin as soon as possible.
  • Trauma: Toe injuries can affect foot stability, thus encouraging hammertoes development.

Collaborating with a certified specialist will lead to an accurate determination of any risk factors predisposing you to hammertoes and appropriate measures to deal with the underlying cause of your concerns. Contact Foot and Ankle Specialists to receive an accurate confirmation of your hammertoes and begin necessary treatment to eliminate your symptoms and restore toe and joint function.