HAMMERTOES AND MALLET TOES
The abnormality that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight is called Hammertoes and Mallet Toes.
What is Hammertoes?
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:
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.
Flexible Hammertoes: A flexible hammertoe is still developing, so the affected toes are still able to move at the joint.
What Can Cause 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: Genes, Poor Shoes, Neuromuscular Disease, and Trauma.
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?
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.
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 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:
Shoes that are too tight.
Injury to the toe.
Bone and muscle imbalances, such as foot bones that are too short or muscles that are especially weak.
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: Toenail thickening or changes, Redness and swelling of the affected toe, Redness and swelling of the affected toe, Corns or calluses on the bent part of the toe, and Toe pain when wearing shoes or walking.
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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.
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Dr. J. Leonard Knudson is a Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Culver City and near West Los Angeles. We also tend to patients from nearby - UCLA, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica and the West Los Angeles area.
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