If your toes contract and curl, you suffer from a condition known as hammertoes. A hammertoe occurs when the ligaments and muscles around the toe joints are out of balance. The most common complaint about this condition is the irritation that develops from shoes rubbing on top of the bent toe. Toes that curl, such as the baby toe, are also referred to as hammertoes.
Women Experience Hammertoes More Often
Because women wear shoes that cause hammertoes, they are more likely to suffer from the condition than men. Therefore, women who wear narrow, high-heeled shoes often will schedule an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist in Racine, WI or the surrounding area. Diabetics or people with poor circulation should see a specialist right away at the first sign of this foot condition as well.
Types of Hammertoes
Two types of hammertoes exist. If the toe can still be moved at the joint, then it is known as a flexible hammertoe. This form of hammertoe is a milder form of the condition. Therefore, a foot and ankle specialist can more easily take care of the problem.
The second type of hammertoe is a rigid hammertoe. If the tendon in the toes becomes rigid, it presses the joint out of alignment. As a result, the toe becomes immovable. When this happens, a foot and ankle specialist will usually recommend surgery.
Again, hammertoes are caused when the toe muscles are thrown out of balance. A muscle imbalance, in turn, places a great deal of pressure on a toe’s joints and tendons. This type of pressure forces the toe to form a hammerhead shape. The muscles are thrown out of alignment because your feet may be flat or high in the arch, or because your shoes do not fit. Pointy or high-heeled shoes are usually the culprits in this type kind of condition.