Growing up, my dad never liked to take his shoes and socks off.  It was due to the fact that he had terrible looking feet… deformed with hammertoes and claw toes.  That and the bunions and calluses on his feet really didn’t make for a pretty sight.  Knowing what I know now, though, I wish I could’ve encouraged him to see a podiatrist for his many foot afflictions.  He was one of the many out there who just deal with foot issues, and never have them treated.  If he had seen a doctor a few times, perhaps he would’ve been comfortable walking around barefoot once in a while!

So, what is a hammertoe or a claw toe?  Well, it’s a condition in which a deformity that happens to one of the toe muscles that becomes weak and puts pressure on the toe’s tendons and joints.  This pressure forces the toe to stick up at the joint, and be misshapen.  There is usually a corn or callus on top of the deformed toe, as well.  The outgrowth can cause pain to the person when it rubs against the shoe.

Claw toes are hammertoes that are bent at the end joints, as well as the middle joints (hammertoes are bent only at the middle joints).  Your doctor will further categorize the form of hammertoe you have, based on whether the affected toe is flexible, semi-rigid or rigid.  If the toe is very rigid it is usually the most painful. 

Why do people get these things?!  Typically genes play a big part.  The foot type you’re born with predisposes you to developing this type of joint deformity over a lifetime.  An underlying medical condition or your shoes can also make you susceptible to developing one of these deformities of the toes.

 So, what can you do if you have them?  Surgery is the best way to permanently fix a hammertoe.  The simple procedure your podiatrist does straightens the toe, which makes shoes fit better.  Your foot will also be getting a “make-over”, so it will definitely look more attractive after the procedure!  Other things you can do besides surgery are: 

  • wear sensible shoes
  • use a pumice stone
  • foot exercises that your podiatrist can recommend

 If you are suffering from hammertoe or claw toe and the unfortunate by-products of these conditions, suffer no longer!  Call Drs. James Ricketti and Stephen Stokan.  Their convenient Hamilton Square location in New Jersey is easy to get to and their hours are very patient accommodating.  Don’t feel embarrassed by your feet any more ­- Drs. Ricketti and Stokan can help!

Joomla templates by a4joomla