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How Common Are Hammertoes?

Hammertoes are toe deformities in which the toes bend downwards at the middle joint. This creates a hammer-like shape and can affect any toes except the big toes. Hammertoes are common, affecting approximately 3% of all adults over the age of 21 in the United States alone. They are more common among women than men. Hammertoes are not a purely cosmetic issue - they can also be quite painful. Over time, the affected joints can become stiff and, if left untreated, can eventually become immobile. The tops of the affected toes also tend to rub uncomfortably against shoes, leading to corns and calluses. If you have hammertoes, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist near you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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