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A 34-year-old member asked:

how do i prevent hammer toes?

9 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ahmad M Hadied
Orthopedic Surgery 49 years experience
Please read that: Change your footwear to shoes that do not rub across the hammer toe in order to prevent corns, blisters or cuts from forming. Avoid straps or seams that may irritate the toe. You may be able to wear open toe shoes in the warmer weather. A deep toe box in a shoe is otherwise necessary.Continu below.
Dr. Ellen Wenzel
Podiatry 14 years experience
Hammertoe: Part of how you develop hammertoes can't be prevented and those are factors that you are born with such as particular foot structures that more prone to developing hammertoes. Other factors that can be controlled include ensuring you are wearing shoes that do not encourage the excessive bending of the toes (ie too small of a shoe).
Dr. Payam Rafat
Podiatry 22 years experience
A contracted toe: A hammertoe is an abnormal increased contracture or a bending of the toe joint. This most commonly results from a muscle or tendon imbalance which results from the mechanical and structural changes in the foot. There is a high genetic component to the condition. Avoid narrow tight shoes so that the toes are not subjected to prolonged periods of over contracture.
Dr. Libby Putnam
Podiatry 12 years experience
Possibly can't?: People can get hammertoes several different ways, including just an unlucky roll of the genetic dice. Sometimes they can't be prevented, per se, but if you catch them in the early stages they are much easier to deal with! see you podiatrist for individualized treatment options.
Dr. Ronald Oberman
Podiatry 31 years experience
Proper shoes/support: Well fitting supportive shoes with good biomechanical support will go along way. Some neurological, hereditaary or congenitial conditions may make this unavoidable.
Dr. Arnold Beresh
Podiatry 41 years experience
Can't: You can try wearing proper shoes and stretching the toes.
Dr. Alan Ettinger
Podiatry 49 years experience
Good fitting shoes: Avoid high heels. Have good genetics.
Dr. Payam Rafat
Podiatry 22 years experience
Comfortable shoes: There is a high genetic component to the condition. Avoid narrow tight shoes so that the toes are not subjected to prolonged periods of over contracture.
Dr. Libby Putnam
Podiatry 12 years experience
Possibly can't?: It all depends on the cause of the deformity. Some have a genetic component, some are created by muscle imbalance in your legs, and some can even be caused by nerve damage or disease. If you notice them forming, talk to your doctor about conservative procedures to straighten them before they get worse, if you're concerned.

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