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Hammer Toes

Get Expert Care for Your Hammer Toes

Hammer toe 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. Untreated hammertoes can become inflexible & 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. Hammer toes may cause pain in toes or feet.

Because of the progressive nature of hammer toes, they should receive early attention. Hammer toes never get better without some kind of intervention

Non-surgical Treatment

The treatment your foot and ankle surgeon selects will depend upon the severity of your hammertoe and other factors. A number of non-surgical measures can be undertaken:

  • Padding corns and calluses. Your foot and ankle surgeon can provide or prescribe pads designed to shield corns from irritation. If you want to try over-the-counter pads, avoid the medicated types. Medicated pads are generally not recommended because they may contain a small amount of acid that can be harmful. Consult your surgeon about this option.

  • Changes in shoewear. Avoid shoes with pointed toes, shoes that are too short, or shoes with high heels – conditions that can force your toe against the front of the shoe. Instead, choose comfortable shoes with a deep, roomy toe box and heels no higher than two inches.

  • Orthotic devices. A custom orthotic device placed in your shoe may help control the muscle/tendon imbalance.

  • Injection therapy. Corticosteroid injections are sometimes used to ease pain and inflammation caused by hammertoe.

  • Medications. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Splinting/strapping. Splints or small straps may be applied by the surgeon to realign the bent toe.

Considering Hammer Toe Surgery?

In some cases, usually when the hammertoe has become more rigid and painful, or when an open sore has developed, surgery is needed. Often patients with hammertoe have bunions or other foot deformities corrected at the same time.

 

In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, the foot and ankle surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your deformity, the number of toes involved, your age, your activity level, and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed. Schedule a consultation with Affiliated Foot & Ankle Surgeons In New Haven, CT.