The term ‘hammertoe’ is generally used to describe digital deformities of the foot. The deformities can vary in location, type and severity. Abnormal positioning of the toe joint(s) result in a crooked alignment of the digit, which can lead to pain and discomfort with shoe wear and activity. As the deformity progresses, the digit becomes more rigid and arthritic. Corns and calluses can accompany this condition due to increased irritation of the skin overlying the affected joints. In severe cases, open wounds can actually form over these bone prominences. This increases the risk for infection and other complications.
Treatment of hammertoes can include both surgical and conservative care options. Conservative care is primarily used to reduce pressure at the painful areas along the digit. This method of treatment does not correct the underlying problem. Surgical intervention to realign the digit is required for a more permanent solution.