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Hammer Toes, Claw Toes, Mallet Toes

What is it?

A hammer toe is a deformity that can affect any toe but mostly of the second, third, fourth and fifth toes. Toes are bent at the joint, resembling a hammer. People with hammer toes often have corns or calluses on the toes. They often are painful in shoes. Hammer toes are sometimes flexible and can be treated conservatively but, most often are rigid and require surgery.

Causes

Often inherited, hammer toes primarily result from a muscle imbalance, in addition to other factors including poorly fitting shoes. Hammertoes are progressive and usually they will get worse over time. Treatments Conservative treatment includes shoe modifications, splinting and padding, injection therapy and orthotic therapy. If conservative measures fail hammer toes can be corrected by surgery.  Surgery is done on an outpatient basis and patients can walk immediately without use of crutches.

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