The hammertoe is a deformity characterized by the contraction (flexion) of the toe’s articulations. This deformity is the result of a muscular imbalance of the foot.
While this issue is sometimes hereditary, it’s generally due to shoes that are maladapted to the foot and force the smaller toes to bend. The articulations might then become permanently contracted. The hammertoe might become painful if corn or some irritation develops.
A good way to alleviate the discomfort caused by hammertoes is to wear shoes of adequate width and length, with an ample and deep vamp (top of shoe), in order to avoid constant friction of the toes against the top part of the shoes.
The podiatrist, after assessing and examining the mechanical function of the foot, may prescribe plantar orthoses, to stabilize the foot’s muscles, or digital orthoses, which protect the pressure points on the toe. These orthoses are always custom-made.
If discomfort and pain persist, a surgical intervention will be necessary, which may be carried out by certain podiatrists.
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