Walking is one of our most basic functional activities and is involved in nearly all aspects of life. When struggling with a hammertoe, walking is often affected and can disrupt your ability to perform everyday activities.  Dr. John Arsen and Dr. Kristi Schons from North Oakland Foot & Ankle in Lake Orion, MI treat hammertoe often.

What Is a Hammertoe?

Instead of your toe lying flat when your foot is on the floor, a hammertoe is an abnormal bending of one or several toes. This abnormal bend results in rigid joints of the toe, making it difficult and painful to straighten. It is commonly seen in the smaller toes but can occur in any toe. It can happen to one toe or multiple at the same time.

With a hammertoe, your toe bends upward at the junction of the toe and foot. Then, the middle joint of the toe bends down instead of lying flat. This abnormal bending can lead to excess friction on the toe from shoes resulting in corns and callouses on top of your toe.

What Causes Hammertoes?

A hammertoe can be blamed on an imbalance of the muscles and other structures supporting the toe joint. Tendons, ligaments, or muscles around the toes can shorten, causing contractures. A contracture is a permanent shortening of the structures surrounding a joint, causing the joint to live forever in an unnatural position.

But the word 'permanent' should not scare you. If you are still able to straighten the toe using your hand, nothing has been permanently shortened. Address it as soon as possible by consulting with our podiatrists in Lake Orion, MI. Hammertoes are a condition we routinely look for. Diagnosing this condition early on will save you a lot of time, pain, and money in the long term.

Some risk factors and causes of hammertoes are:

  • Genetics: Some people are born with abnormal foot anatomy that predisposes them to develop a hammertoe. Examples of this are flat feet or their counterparts, overly high arches.
  • Neuromuscular disease: Any condition that affects the signals sent from the brain to muscle may result in a hammertoe if those disrupted signals are sent to the feet and toes. 
  • Diabetic neuropathy: This condition not only disrupts nerve signals to the feet but circulation as well. The feet are commonly affected by diabetic neuropathy and regular inspection of the feet is critical if you have diabetes.
  • Ill-fitting shoes: Routinely wearing shoes that are too tight and don't provide enough space in the toe area can cause compression of the toes and result in a hammertoe.
  • Arthritis: Can be systemic or due to normal wear-and-tear and over time both kinds of arthritis can contribute to developing a hammertoe

Contact Us

Treat your hammertoe in Lake Orion, MI with Dr. Arsen or Dr. Schons from North Oakland Foot & Ankle. Schedule a consultation with us by calling (248) 693-7700.

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Monday
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