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Posts for category: Hammertoes

No this isn’t a new version of the popular song; this is a deformity of the toes! If you aren’t sure what this is, it is a deformity of the proximal interphalangeal joints in the toe. What the heck is that? If you look at your toes and bend them down, the first joint you see bending, that is the joint we’re talking about. Hammertoe is when this joint deforms causing the joint to be bent permanently, so it looks like a hammer. This normally happens in the second, third and fourth toes.

Some common causes of this are wearing shoes that put the toes in this bent position frequently. Common shoe types that can cause this type of toe bending are shoes that are too tight or too small and high heels.  Some of our favorite actresses like Jennifer Anniston and Natalie Portman have an increased risk of developing hammertoe because they frequently wear high heels.  These shoes cause the muscles of the toes to shorten, which pulls them into this position; the muscles can become permanently shortened. There are some underlying conditions that can cause this, for example osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, a stroke or diabetes.

If you suspect that you or a family member may have hammertoe you should make an appointment with your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Edison and Monroe NJ to get your feet checked out! The treatment for hammer toe depends on the severity of the deformity. For less severe cases your podiatrist will recommend physical therapy and toe boxes in your shoes. Toe boxes are inserts that will separate your toes and let them have space to “stretch” out. In more severe cases surgery will be required to fix the deformity. After surgery you will need to do some physical therapy exercises to help the toes maintain their new shape.

by Varun Gujral