REVIEWS OF DR. SCHULER
Hammer toes is when the joint of the toes curl down. The reason they curl abnormally is due to a muscle imbalance which results in the tendons becoming unnaturally tight. They are due to Heredity, improper shoes, and Arthritis
There are two types of hammer toes:
These classification are based on the mobility of the toe joints. A flexible hammer toe is one with a flexible toe joint that allows it to be straightend with your finger. In time a flexible joint may turn into a rigid hammer toe. Normally flexible hammer toes are much less painful than rigid hammer toes. A rigid hammer toe is one with a rigid toe joint, one that is not moveable with your finger. These rigid toe joints can be very painful and limit the ability to move. As I write about in my book Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts In The Foot, hammer toes are caused by a problem known as Morton’s Toe to move. Corns that appear on the toes especially the 5th and 2nd toes are a direct result of hammer toes, due to the rubbing of the top of the toes on the shoes. Treating the Morton’s Toe can help this problem. Also a shoe with what is known as a “high toe box” can help. Avoid using the over the counter “corn medications” espically if you are a diabetic. They do nothing but burn the skin off of your toes.
Sometimes surgery can not be avoided. If needed, the surgery chosen is decided by whether we are dealing with a flexible or rigid hammer toe. If the surgery is on a flexible hammer toe, it is performed on soft tissue structures like the tendon and or capsule of the flexor hammer toe. I describe this surgery in the section under Calluses
Rigid hammer toes need bone surgeries into the joint of the toe to repair it. This bone surgery is called an arthroplasty. As I wrote in my book The Agony Of De-Feet, all hammer toe surgeries should be done out of the hospital in the doctor’s office or surgical center.