Hammer Digits

Dr Information

Summary – inflexibility in the proximal interphalangeal joint of the lesser toes resulting in flexed toe. Primarily associated with hypermobile first ray. Causes issues with rubbing on dorsal IPJ, can results in corns or callus at dorsal IPJ.
Literature – Can result from instability in the mid to late stages of gait cycle. Biomechanical assessment required, particularly if patient is young, or the joint has some flexibility remaining.
Diagnostic tip – Check for flexibility within the affected joint and classify as rigid or flexible.
Testing or imagery – xray can be helpful if joint destruction or arthritis is suspected.
Referrals – Refer to podiatrist for conservative management of associated pathology, biomechanical assessment and footwear recommendation.

Patient Information

Summary – Toe bent in the middle, even when not wearing shoes.
How does this occur? – Can result from footwear being too short, or from the way your foot interacts with the ground.
How can this be helped? – The podiatrist can assess your joints, how you walk, and make recommendations on footwear and whether you need orthoses.
Who can help? – Your podiatrist.