When the muscles and ligaments in your toes start to weaken, they can curl in an uncomfortable way, causing hammertoe. If you have a hammertoe, Ruben Nieto, DPM, and the team at Diabetic Foot and Wound Center in Bakersfield, California, offer a variety of treatments to better support your feet. Hammertoes are particularly dangerous for people with diabetes and poor circulation, as they can raise your risk of infection. For effective hammertoe treatment, call Diabetic Foot and Wound Center, or schedule an appointment online today. Same-day and next-day appointments are available, plus telehealth.
A hammertoe is a curled toe that develops when its muscles and ligaments start to weaken, causing the middle joint in the toe to bend out of shape. While it can happen to any of your smaller toes, hammertoes are most common in the middle three.
Most hammertoes develop gradually and become less flexible and more rigid over time, so you might not realize you have a deformity at first. As the muscles become limper, the toe progressively bends and curls.
Along with a curled or bent toe, hammertoes can cause the following symptoms:
Hammertoes can be extremely painful without treatment, but early intervention helps improve your ability to walk without pain.
Hammertoes typically develop when the muscles and tendons in your toes become unbalanced, which puts pressure on your toe joint. Many factors raise your risk of developing a hammertoe, such as:
Women are more likely to get hammertoes than men because they tend to wear narrow, pointed shoes that squish the toes. A previous injury, such as a severe stub or break in the toe, also increases your risk of developing a hammertoe.
Treating hammertoe typically involves a combination of methods to relieve your pain. If you have corns and calluses, try padding them to minimize irritation. You should also avoid wearing pointed shoes, particularly high heels.
The podiatric team at Diabetic Foot and Wound Center can also fit you for custom-made orthotic devices — shoe inserts that mold to the shape of your foot, delivering much-needed cushion and support. In rare cases, an especially rigid or painful hammertoe may require surgery.
If you have hammertoes, it’s best to wear roomy, breathable shoes that give your toes enough space to move.
Walking and moving without pain can be difficult with hammertoe. If you’re ready to regain full function of your toes, call Diabetic Foot and Wound Center, or schedule an appointment online today.