Hammertoe Treatment

Claw Toe

Bunions, also known as hallux valgus, are common deformities of the big toe that can cause significant disability. Bunions most often occur because of inherited foot abnormalities that make a person more likely to develop a bunion, MedlinePlus explains. Instability in the big toe joint and joint enlargement causes the toe to gradually drift toward the second toe. Foot injuries, arthritis and improper footwear over a number of years can contribute to bunions, which affect women nine times more often than men, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports. Bunion complications can cause significant disability. Pain

Hammertoes may have several causes, but most commonly come about due to muscle imbalances. The tendons pulling the toe inward may be stronger than the ones that pull the toe straight, thus resulting in a toe that’s bumped up in the middle. Hammertoes (or a tendency to develop them) might have been something you inherited from your parents (or grandparents, or third cousins), although they may also be caused or exacerbated by wearing shoes that scrunch the toes up into a small space (i.e. shoes with tiny little toe boxes and/or high heels—the usual lineup of suspects).

The following pictures show the surgical steps of a hammer toe procedure called a Post arthroplasty. Modifications of this procedure may include a fusion of the joint, pinning of the toe or digital implant. These photos show dissection at the level of the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIPJ) for correction of a hammer toe. Image 1 shows the pre-operative postition of the hammer toe. Image 2 shows a release of the dorsal capsule and extensors tendons with a #15 blade at the level of the metatarsal phalangeal joint. Image 3 shows the long extensor tendon at the level of the PIPJ. claw toe deformity

Poorly fitted shoes. Claw toes are usually the result of wearing shoes that are too short. Many people have second toes that are longer than their big toes; if they wear shoes sized to fit the big toe, the second toe has to bend to fit into the shoe. High-heeled shoes with pointed toes are also a major cause of claw toes. Derotation arthroplasty. In this technique, the surgeon removes a small wedge of skin and realigns the deformed toe. The surgeon may also remove a small section of bone, and repair tendons and ligaments if necessary.

Claw toes occur when the two distal toe knuckles are stuck in flexion and the base is stuck in extension. When looking at claw toes, they appear “scrunched up,” the toe tips are visibly held close to the ball of the foot, while the proximal knuckle is acutely extended such that the middle phallange ( toe bone) looks like it would rub against the roof of a shoe while walking. Hammer toe deformity is when the toes are stuck with the middle knuckle flexed and the others extended. In this circumstance, the middle toe knuckle is arched up by itself.

Other conservative therapies include toe crests and hammer toe splints, which are designed to hold down the claw toe and take pressure off the balls of the feet. Gel shields and cups can also be inserted to reduce friction between the toes and the shoe. The pain associated with flat feet occurs on the inside of the ankle, in the lower leg or on the foot. The pain hurts most when standing, walking or running and eases during rest. The pain can sometimes be severe enough to limit participation in sports or other activities. Shin Splintclaw toe images