HAMMERTOES AND MALLET TOES
Hammertoe and mallet toe are foot deformities that occur due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. The type of shoes you wear, foot structure, trauma and certain disease processes can contribute to the development of these deformities.
WHAT IS A HAMMERTOE?
A term for progressive symptoms and joint changes that involve one or more of your toes. A hammertoe is a joint on your toe that points up instead of lying flat.
This deformity happens because muscles in your foot or leg get weak and the tendons to your toe pull abnormally. You might find that you also have a corn or callus on top of your deformed toe, which may be painful.
Eventually, you may be unable to move the affected toe.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF HAMMERTOES?
There are three types of hammertoes:
Flexible Hammertoes: A flexible hammertoe is still developing, so the affected toes are still able to move at the joint.
Semi-Rigid: The hammertoe is starting to stiffen.
Rigid Hammertoes: A rigid hammertoe can no longer move because the tendons and soft tissues have tightened.
WHAT CAUSES HAMMERTOES?
Abnormal muscle balance in your toe can lead to increased pressure on the tendon and joints, which causes a hammertoe. Causes of that muscle imbalance include:
SYMPTOMS OF HAMMERTOES?
Hammertoe and mallet toe feature an abnormal bend in the joints of one or more of your toes. Moving the affected toe may be difficult or painful. Corns and calluses can result from the toe rubbing against the inside of your shoes.
WHAT IS A MALLET TOE?
A mallet toe refers to an upward bend at the toe joint. It may cause the toe to look curled instead of flat.
Mallet toe happens mostly in the second toe, next to the big toe. That’s because it’s often the longest of the four smaller toes.
But mallet toe can also affect the third and fourth toes.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF MALLET TOES?
Mallet toes are usually described as flexible or rigid:
Flexible Mallet Toes: The muscle and toe joint are still flexible and movable.
Rigid Mallet Toes: The muscle and nearby tendons (tissues that attach muscle to bone) tighten. This change freezes the toe joint in a bent position.
WHAT CAUSES MALLET TOES?
Mallet toes develop when a toe is repeatedly forced upward. The most common causes of mallet toes include:
Bone and muscle imbalances, such as foot bones that are too short or muscles that are especially weak.
Injury to the toe.
Shoes that are too tight.
SYMPTOMS OF MALLET TOES?
The most obvious symptom of a mallet toe is curling or bending at the toe joint nearest the toenail. Other symptoms can include:
Redness and swelling of the affected toe.
Corns or calluses on the bent part of the toe.
Toe pain when wearing shoes or walking.
Toe sores or ulcers, especially in people with diabetes.
Toenail thickening or changes.
WHAT CLIENTS SAY ABOUT FOOT CARE WLA
"He has a good balance of being in the business for 40 years and also acknowledging modern medicine. Thumbs up"
THOROUGH AND PROFESSIONAL
"He made me feel better and gave me options for treatment"
"Dr. Leonard Knudson is a terrific doctor! He immediately recognized my condition as ingrown toenails. Treated them and prescribed an antibiotic for infection. He is very nice, and extremely competent and experienced."
Consult a Foot and Ankle Surgeon to have your hammertoes and mallet toes be treated and corrected.
Dr. J. Leonard Knudson is a Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Culver City and near West Los Angeles that is able to help with your hammertoe.
We look forward to meeting your foot and ankle needs.
Our Los Angeles Foot Doctor is Certified by the The American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, is a California Licensed Podiatrist and has a Doctorate Degree in Podiatric Medicine.