What is a Hammer Toe? Here are some facts about this condition
Hammer toe is a deformity of the toe in which the toe bends downward at the middle joint, causing it to resemble a hammer. Hammer toes appear on the second to fourth toes and are more common in women than men. It tends to develop overtime but sometimes they can be present at birth or occur as a result of trauma to the toe.
Starting as a small and flexible bend in the toes, hammer toes can quickly progress to rigid and permanent toe deformities if left unmanaged. Anyone can develop a hammer toe at any age.
This condition can either be flexible or rigid. Flexible hammer toes are still moveable and can be straightened with applied pressure, these are less severe. However, rigid hammer toes cannot be straightened with force and require more invasive treatment like surgery to be corrected.
Causes of Hammer Toe
Hammer toes are caused by an imbalance in the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding a toe that usually work together to keep it straight. If that contracted position remains over time, these structures become rigid and permanently fixed in that position.
The following are factors that can lead to hammer toes developing: