Hammertoes

David Jenson, DPM -  - Podiatrist

Jenson Foot & Ankle Specialists

David Jenson, DPM

Podiatrist located in The Woodlands, TX & Houston, TX

Hammertoes are a type of common foot abnormality that can cause discomfort and make you self-conscious about the appearance of your feet. David Jenson, DPM, of Jenson Foot and Ankle Specialists in The Woodlands, Texas & Houston, Texas, and Shenandoah, Texas, can treat hammertoes and restore proper toe alignment. If you’ve been thinking of seeking care for this or any other foot deformity, contact Dr. Jenson for a personalized consultation. You can schedule your visit using the online booking tool at any time of day or night or simply call during office hours to check appointment availability.

Hammertoes Q & A

What are hammertoes?

Hammertoe is a perhaps inartful term used to describe a common foot deformity. The condition involves misalignment of a toe, stemming from an abnormal bend in the middle joint. If the joint near the end of your toe is bent, the condition is often referred to as a mallet toe.

While most cases of hammertoe don’t lead to serious foot health problems, they can be painful if the abnormal curve causes friction against your shoes. Many men and women also seek treatment to improve the aesthetics of their feet, as hammertoes can be unsightly.

How do hammertoes develop?

Apart from your big toe, each of your toes has three bones connected by three joints. If anything causes the ball of your foot to extend too far upward, your middle toe joints can be forced to extend too far downward. Over time, those abnormal flexions can lead to permanent joint changes.

If the muscles in your lower legs cannot properly support and stabilize your feet, changes in weight distribution can push your bones and joints into unusual alignment. Additional causes of hammertoe include:

  • Nerve and muscle damage from diabetes
  • Hereditary factors
  • High heels or shoes that don’t properly fit

In adults, hammertoe is usually a permanent condition as the bones and connective tissues can no longer be manually pulled into proper alignment.

Which foot problems are hammertoes associated with?

It’s possible to develop hammertoes without any other foot health issues present. Most often, however, hammertoes exist alongside a range of other podiatry concerns, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Corns or calluses
  • Flat feet
  • Bunions
  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

While it is unlikely that you’ll experience more than a few of these issues, it’s also unlikely that hammertoes have developed absent any other concerns.

How are hammertoes treated?

If hammertoes are detected in childhood or early adulthood, it may be possible to correct them by manually restoring proper joint alignment. Specific exercises are needed to correct the muscle imbalance that led hammertoes to develop in the first place. Custom orthotics can help improve muscle imbalance and prevent hammertoes from developing, worsening, or returning.

Once the affected joints have grown rigid, surgical correction may be the only available treatment option. Altering the shape of the bone and soft tissues near the affected joints can restore optimal alignment.

If you’re searching for solutions for hammertoes or any other type of foot deformity, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jenson to discuss treatment paths. You can book your consultation with a quick visit to the online scheduling page, or call to check availability.