Find out more about this foot condition and how it could negatively impact the health of your feet.
Have years of shoving your feet into high heels and tightly fitted shoes started to cause you some discomfort? If so, then you may have recently examined your feet and noticed that your toes are more curled and bent than they used to be years ago. If you’ve noticed this problem in your own feet, our Oviedo and Orlando, FL, podiatrists, Dr. Timothy Mason and Dr. Jason Hancock, are here to help you determine whether this issue could be due to a deformity known as hammertoes.
What are hammertoes?
Your feet are made up of a variety of tendons, muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues. If there is an imbalance in your feet then one tendon may end up being overworked more than others. An overstretched or overworked tendon can easily lead to a hammertoe, in which one or more toes bend downward at the middle joint.
What causes hammertoes to form?
As we just mentioned briefly, overworked tendons can cause the toes to curl downward; however, this usually starts because the muscles of the feet are weak, which affects the health and function of the tendons, resulting in a hammertoe.
Hammertoes are often heredity, so if you have any immediate members of your family who have this problem then you may be more likely to develop this issue in the future.
Hammertoes are also more likely to form if you have arthritis, have had a foot injury in the past or if you often wear shoes that are too tight and put pressure on the toes.
How do I know that I have one?
Take a second to examine the look and shape of your toes. Toes should naturally be straight; however, if you notice that your toes curl downward then you may have the beginning stages of a hammertoe. Not all hammertoes will cause pain or discomfort. If you have the ability to straighten out the curled toe or toes then your hammertoe is still flexible. Of course, if you are unable to straighten out the affected toes then the hammertoe may already be rigid.
How are hammertoes treated?
The treatment our Oviedo and Orlando foot doctors provide you will depend on the extent of your condition and the symptoms you are experiencing. Most of the time a flexible hammertoe can be managed through simple conservative measures. Of course, if you have a rigid hammertoe, the only way to repair it will be with surgery.
Don’t just ignore symptoms of a hammertoe. Get the diagnosis and treatment plan from our Oviedo and Orlando, FL, foot care experts that you need to prevent the issue from getting worse. Call Foot & Ankle Specialists of Orlando today to schedule an evaluation.