A thorough medical exam will tell whether you have a hammertoe. Usually, an X-ray is part of this exam to assess the extent of the deformity.
A hammertoe occurs from a muscle and ligament imbalance around the toe joint that causes the middle toe joint to bend and become stuck in this position.
The most common complaint with hammertoes is rubbing and irritation on the top of the bent toe.
Athletes who take part in high-impact sports involving running or jumping are at high risk of forefoot injury. While track and field runners are exposed to the highest level of traumatic forces to the forefoot, many other athletes, including tennis, football, baseball, and soccer players, often have forefoot injuries.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
The primary symptom of metatarsalgia is pain at the end of one or more of the metatarsal bones. The pain is typically aggravated when walking or running. Athletes who participate in high-impact activities and may also have an inflammatory condition such as bursitis often have diffuse forefoot and midfoot pain.
Most often, the pain comes on over a period of several months, rather than suddenly.
A condition known as Morton's neuroma (interdigital neuroma) produces symptoms of metatarsalgia due to irritation and inflammation of a nerve at the site of pain. People with Morton's neuroma may experience toe numbness in addition to pain in the forefoot.
The foot can be injured during sports activities. As with many other overuse injuries, the condition may be the result of an alteration in normal biomechanics that has caused an abnormal weight distribution.
Persistent stress can lead to chronic irritation and inflammation of the bone covering and adjacent tissues, such as ligaments and tendons.
The following factors can contribute to excessive localized pressure over the forefoot: