Hammertoe is a contracture (bending) deformity of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth (little) toes. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop.
Hammertoes usually start out as mild deformities and get progressively worsen over time. In the earlier stages, hammertoes are flexible and the symptoms can often be managed with noninvasive measures. However, if left untreated, hammertoes can become more rigid and will require surgery.
Because of the progressive nature of hammertoes, they should receive early attention. Hammertoes never get better without some kind of intervention.
Common symptoms of hammertoes include:
- Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes.
- Corns and calluses (a buildup of skin) on the toe, between two toes or on the ball of the foot. Corns are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending on their location.
- Inflammation, redness or a burning sensation
- Contracture of the toe
- In more severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.
If you have questions about hammertoe or would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our medical professionals today!