The term hammertoe describes a pathological toe deformation. It derives from the particular shape of the toe, which reminds of a hammer.
What Exactly Is a Hammertoe?
Hammertoe means that the affected toe is constantly flexed, so it cannot be stretched. Therefore, the joint is pressed upwards and forms a ‘hump’, colliding with the shoe, eventually leading to painful abrasions. Experts speak about the so-called shoe conflict, describing how the wearing of a shoe causes problems due to medical indications.
In general, patients initially notice redness on the back of the toes. Later, painful lesions develop, which are referred to as ‘Clavus’ also known under the colloquial terms ‘calluses’ or ‘corns’.
What Leads to a Hammertoe?
Various indications lead to the emergence of a hammertoe. The most common are listed below:
Many people are born with very long toes. Mostly the 2nd and / or 3rd toe tend to grow beyond average, towering the big one. Consequently, they are pushed towards the tip of the shoe, causing the toes to be pressed together like an accordion. After a certain period of time, this misalignment becomes a chronic condition.
Excessive strain of the metatarsal bone (so-called metatarsalgia)
Due to excessive straining of the foot, the metatarsal bone is running risk to be pressed down towards the sole. The adjacent toe reacts in a counter-movement, pathologically moving upwards.
Imbalances of the Tendon
The tendons play an important role in the various movements of our body. They regulate the intensity of movements in relation to each other. If this balance is disturbed, deformities might be the result. If for example the flexor tendons of a toe are more active than the extensor tendons, a hammertoe might form.
Hammertoe Correction Germany: What Can Be Done?
If conservative therapy attempts are unsuccessful, a surgical approach is a valid option. The surgical method may vary depending upon the actual cause of the hammertoe.
These are the most common surgical methods:
The Stiffening of the Affected Joint (so-called Arthrodesis)
In this method, the bent joint is straightened permanently with the help of a surgical stiffening procedure. For this purpose, medical wire is temporarily implanted into the toe. The removal takes place 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery and usually does not cause further pain.
Advantage: After the removal of the wire no foreign body remains in the toe.
Alternatively, another form of implant can be introduced into the joint, that remains permanently in the foot.
Advantage: Less recovery time in comparison to the wire method.
Disadvantage: The implants are more expensive.
Surgical Tendon Correction
Another way to correct hammertoes is by extending or by relocating the tendon.
Hammertoe Correction Germany: After treatment
- Removal of stitches after about 2 weeks.
- Wearing a medical shoe for a period of 2- 4 weeks, depending on the surgical method.
- Lymph drainage if necessary<./li>
- No thrombosis prophylaxis or crutches.
Surgical Hammertoe Correction: Conclusion
Applying gentle surgical method with low risk of complications, discomfort caused by hammertoes can be removed effectively. Also the wearing of familiar shoe sizes becomes possible again.
Hammertoe Correction Germany: Consult Foot Specialist Adem Erdogan
Adem Erdogan is among the leading foot surgeons in Germany. Long-standing experience, optimized surgical procedures as well as detailed diagnostics contribute to an ever-increasing inflow of patients.
Do you have questions about the treatment, the risks or the costs concerning the hammertoe correction?
After a consultation and detailed examination, Adem Erdogan creates a treatment plan tailored to the individual needs of the patients for ideal results. He will be happy to answer all of your questions.