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In general, the term “hammer toe” describes a buckling of any of the toe joints. Joints at the end or middle of the toe, as well as the joint near the ball of the foot, may be affected. Toe joints usually curl because of a muscle imbalance or tight tendons. Hammer toes vary in severity and in the number of joints and toes involved.
TYPES OF HAMMER TOES
Hammer toes may be flexible or rigid, depending on the joint’s ability to move. A flexible joint may become more rigid as you age.
A FLEXIBLE JOINT
You can straighten a flexible hammer toe with your fingers. Although they look painful, flexible hammer toes may not hurt.
A RIGID JOINT
A rigid hammer toe cannot be moved, even with the fingers. Rigid joints may cause pain and distort foot movement. This may put extra stress on the ball of the foot, causing a callus (a corn on the bottom of the foot).
TREATING HAMMER TOES
If your symptoms are mild, changing shoes may be all the treatment you need. Using a splint or pad to hold your toes straight also may help. Or try cushioning corns and calluses with felt padding. If your symptoms are severe, surgery may be needed on whether your toe joints are flexible or rigid.
To release a buckled joint, the tight tendón (often the bottom one) is cut and repositioned.
A piece of bone may be removed to help straighten a rigid toe. Two surgical examples are shown below. With either surgery, a pin may be used to hold the remaining bone in position during healing.
Dr. Ahmadi offers the most advanced state of the art techniques for pain-free surgical and non-surgical treatment of any foot and ankle pathology. His goal for each patient is painless and pleasing results with early return to activity.
Dr. Ahmadi offers services in a wide variety of foot and ankle deformities and pathology such as:
- Diabetic Limb Salvage
- Custom Orthotic devices
- Failed Surgeries
- Foot & Ankle Fractures
- Sports Injuries
- Heel Pain
- Nail Disorders
- Ingrown Nails