There is a painful foot deformity that gives the toes a claw like appearance, much like the end of a hammer. We refer to this condition as hammertoe. It is a result of ligament and muscle discrepancies around toe joints. The middle joint of a toe becomes imbalanced and bends down in an abnormal matter. The Advanced Foot Care Specialists of Las Vegas can cure this hammer-like appearance.

Dr. Levine treats two different types of hammertoes: rigid, in which tendons become stiff and press the joint completely out of alignment; and flexible, which allows the toe to still bend at the joint. During the flexible stage, in early development, many treatment options are available. In contrast, the rigid stage confines the toe to a fixed irregular position and often require surgical correction.

What Causes My Toe To Curl?

As this deformity develops, muscle divergence places pressure on tendons and toe joints. This excess pressure causes the toe to bend downward into a hammerhead form. There are four major contributing factors to this type of condition.

Trauma encompasses any sort of jamming, stubbing, or breaking of the toe. These injuries are a gateway for bone deformity.

Genes play a role. Though the condition itself isn't hereditary, having flat feet and high arches are. These inheritable factors make the feet unstable, causing individuals to become susceptible to the development of curled toes.

Shoes that are too tight will push the toes out of alignment, as will high heels. If the toes become too crowded or are forced into small confines they are unable to lie flat. If these conditions persist,  they become permanently fixed in a curled position.

Nerve Injury or Disorder such as stroke or diabetes can cause medical complications in the form of nerve damage. Nerve damage to the feet can lead to hammertoe. If you have one of these conditions, see Dr. Levine at the first sign of foot pain.

Some other factors to take into consideration include toe length, age, and gender. Due to high heels, women are most likely to experience joint complications. Likelihood increases if your second toe is longer than the first and as you get older.

What are the Symptoms?

Tenderness at the top of the affected toe is common. The position of the toe causes friction and irritability when wearing socks and shoes. Movement may become restricted and extremely painful. Calluses and corns are also likely to develop.

How is it Treated?

Proper footwear cannot be emphasized enough. Wearing the right shoes makes all the difference. Your podiatrist may prescribe custom orthotics to relieve pressure and friction along the affected toe, as well as foot exercises to restore muscle balance. Prescription medication and injections of cortisone work to mitigate pain and swelling. Depending on the severity of your condition, surgery may be needed. Surgical procedures to eliminate hammertoe focus on realignment of the joints.

Don't hesitate to call one of our three Las Vegas offices. Advanced Foot Care Specialists can be reached at 702-839-2010. You can also book an appointment online. You don't have to live with foot pain. Our friendly team is more than happy to help! We look forward to hearing from you.