Toe deformities such as hammertoes are most commonly caused by bunions, flat feet, or genetic factors. Having properly functioning toes is essential for good walking and other activity. There are small muscles that are essential for proper walking, if these are overpowered by the leg muscle, then a hammertoe can occur.
Hammertoes cause the toe to become bent in a fixed position with a slow developing callus. Many times, a hammertoe can cause shoe rub, furthering the growth of the callus. If the hammertoe has existed for a long time, pain on the ball of the foot is not uncommon.
Treatments for hammertoes can vary by severity. For early development of a hammertoe, an in office visit can usually treat the problem. Here either an orthotic is used or a mild in-office tendon release can provide excellent results.
For more severe hammertoes, more involved surgery is required. This surgery can be done in-office or outpatient. Here a small piece of bone is removed in order to straighten the bone and sometimes an absorbable pin is used to keep the toe straight.