Hammer toes are a deformity that causes your toes to bend or curl downward resembling a hammer. Daniel Drapacz, DPM at New York Foot Experts can diagnose a hammer toe quickly during a routine exam and take imaging or x-rays to see how extensive the damage is.
If you notice these symptoms you should call for an appointment without delay:
- A toe that bends downward.
- Corns and calluses on those toes.
- Trouble walking, running or jogging.
- Toes that become stiff and look like a claw.
- Less flexibility to wiggle that toe.
Genetics can play a big role in your foot type and predisposition to joint deformity. If you have high arches your toes work harder to stabilize your balance which can also lead to hammer toes. Another leading culprit are those fashionable shoes that lend little to no arch support and put pressure on the toes and joints. Lastly, neuromuscular disease (a disorder that effects the nervous system) can contribute to the development of a hammer toe and people with diabetes are at a higher risk as well. In severe cases with poor blood flow, more complications can arise than just hammer toes. This should all be considered and diagnosed properly.
Here are some options to fix hammer toes without having surgery
- Wear wider shoes with a good arch support and a non- medicated padding.
- Use a pumice stone to treat the calluses and corns associated with hammer toes.
- Do foot exercises like extending and curling toes. Moving the toes one at a time can help prevent the toe from becoming deformed.
Can you prevent hammertoes?
Yes, and the best way to do that is to switch to a shoe that gives you more room in the toe area and do not cramp or push them forward. An office visit as soon as pain and stiffness begins or if the shape of your toes change.
These remedies may work in some cases where the toe can be corrected easily. However, surgery can be the best way to permanently fix a hammer toe that is severely deformed. Either way your feet deserve to look as good as they can, especially in the summer. If you need an evaluation contact New York Foot Experts at 212-385-0801 in New York City to make an appointment so you can correct your hammer toes. We have offices in New York City; 7th Avenue (Mid-Town), Broadway (Financial District – Wall Street), 125th Street (Upper West Side – Harlem).