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The Difference between a Flexible and a Rigid Hammertoe

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You may have heard the term “flexible hammertoe” or the term “rigid hammertoe” and wondered exactly what the difference is between them.

It’s really very simple. A flexible hammertoe is just that: flexible. The joints in the toe can still be moved and straightened out. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a serious problem, though. Flexible hammertoes can cause pain and irritation and can lead to the development of corns and calluses. It is important to have hammertoes treated, even if the toe is still flexible.

Rigid hammertoes are just that: rigid. They have lost their flexibility and the joints are immovable. Rigid hammertoes typically cause the same problems as flexible hammertoes: pain, irritation, and corns and calluses. However, once a hammertoe has progressed to the rigid stage, the symptoms involved with the toe may become more severe and the entire function of the toe may be lost.

Fortunately, there are treatments available for both flexible and rigid hammertoes. Treatment may include procedures like a tendon release, arthroplasty, or fusion. Your podiatrist can evaluate your toe and help you decide on the best course of action for your specific case.

Hammertoes can make footwear extremely uncomfortable and can even make walking and getting around difficult due to pain.

If you are suffering from a hammertoe, see a podiatrist.

You can contact the Neuhaus Foot and Ankle office at 615-220-8788 or at our toll-free number 888-713-0906. You can also request an appointment online.

Category: Deformities


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