A hammertoe is a toe deformity that causes a toe to bend downward at the middle joint, creating a hammer-like or claw-like appearance. This can cause discomfort as the affected toes rubs against the shoes while walking. Hammertoes may become painful, stiff, and restricted in their range of motion if left untreated. While there are many conservative treatments for hammertoes, surgery may be needed for more severe cases. There are two main types of hammertoe surgery. In a fusion surgery, the surgeon cuts the ligaments, tendons, and the ends of the bones that form the middle joint of the hammertoe in order to straighten it. Pins and screws are then used to help the cut bones fuse together. In a joint resection surgery, the surgeon may also cut the ligaments and tendons, as well as the end of one bone, so that the toe can be straightened. To learn more about treatment for hammertoes, please consult with a podiatrist.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Stephen S. Pirotta from Advanced Foot & Ankle Clinics. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.
- Pain in the affected toes
- Development of corns or calluses due to friction
- Contracture of the toes
Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible
Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur
Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe
Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe
Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it
Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used
Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option
If you have any questions please contact our office located in Bentonville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.