Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and require surgery.
People with hammertoe may have corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint of the toe or on the tip of the toe. They may also feel pain in their toes or feet and have difficulty finding comfortable shoes. Causes of hammertoe include improperly fitting shoes and muscle imbalance.
Treatment for the condition typically involves shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes and toe exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles. Commercially available straps, cushions or non-medicated corn pads may also relieve symptoms.
When the hammer toes and claw toes are painful, despite the conservative therapy options, or when you cannot find shoes that are comfortable enough, surgical correction should be discussed with our podiatrist. The longer surgery is delayed in a symptomatic foot, the greater the amount of deformity that develops – and the more complicated the surgery becomes. Patients who have their symptomatic hammer toes and claw toes corrected earlier tend to have greater satisfaction after the procedure. When these conservative treatment options are no longer providing the comfort you need, consultation with our podiatrist is advised to discuss surgical options.