The condition of hammer or hammered toes is actually a disorder or to be more exact the deformity of the bone structure and the joints of the toes. It is manifested by a hammer-like appearance of the toes that is the ends of the toes are slightly curved towards the inside and it affects the little toes more often. Another problem of this condition is that the calluses (amounts of the thickened skin), corns and the blister-like formations are prone to develop onto the most pointed out part of the toe.
Sometimes, the complications are the following: swelling, redness and, the most severe, the deformity which could be spread on the joint.
The hammered toes are the usual consequence of wearing the improper shoes especially if it allows the movements of the foot inside it and, of course, if the shoe is too tight and the toes inside it must be curved. Also, they tend to appear after some injury, or can gradually develop because of some underlying disease, such as arthritis, diabetes, or some condition related to the nerves and muscles.
So, the best way of dealing with this kind of this disfigurement is of course by undergoing the surgical treatment especially in the cases of the advanced deformity which includes the already inflexible hammered toes. First of all the podiatric surgeon will order X-rays in order to determine in which stage of the development the deformity is.
After that, he or she will recommend one of the most frequently performed interventions, and those are digital arthroplasty, digital arthrodesis and the transfer of the affected tendon. The last one mentioned is, in fact, placing the tendon from beneath the toe on the area over the toe and it is done only in the cases of the still flexible toes.
The digital procedures are based on taking out the affected bone, and the only difference is that during the arthroplasty, the bone is taken out partially, unlike during the arthrodesis (when the entire joint is taken out).
Of course the procedures are done under the general or partial anaesthesia and wearing a cast isn’t necessary.
Unfortunately the hammered toes sometimes tend to reoccur, even after having a surgery. Also, the rehabilitation could last up to twelve months. So, before accepting this, rather invasive way of dealing with this problem it is good to concern healing the hammered toes some other way if possible although it will be the less effective treatment.
For example, introducing some changes into the lifestyle could help a lot, and those are, for example, staying away from the high heels and the uncomfortable shoes and wearing certain pads in the shoes. It is even recommendable to try to straighten the toe if it is flexible.