Hammer toe is a deformity where one, or several, of the toes become permanently bent at the proximal interphalangeal joint (the second joint in the toe). It can occur in the second, third or fourth toes, and it gets its name because the affected toe(s) looks like…well, a hammer.
Hammer toe can be caused by a number of diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, stroke or diabetes, but it is most frequently a result of wearing shoes that fit poorly. Excessively high heels or shoes that are too narrow or short for the foot can force the toes to be in a bent position for long periods of time, causing the muscles and tendons in the foot to shorten.
If treated early, assuming the condition is not caused by one of the aforementioned diseases, hammer toe can be corrected. Physical therapy and splints can also be used to straighten the afflicted toe. As a last resort, surgery can be used to cure hammer toe.
If you think you are experiencing hammer toe, Apple Health & Wellness has a podiatrist on staff with years of experience effectively treating hammer toe.
Apple Health & Wellness is a multidisciplinary clinic that emphasizes total body wellness and provides patients with innovative, proven solutions that help them achieve their healthcare goals. The Knoxville-based clinic integrates chiropractic, physical therapy and rehabilitation, medical care and podiatry to deliver the best patient outcomes.