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Treatment for Hammertoe


If you have pain in your toes or feet and have a difficult time finding comfortable shoes, you may need to find a treatment for hammertoe. 

A hammertoe is a common deformity where the toe is bent at the middle joint, producing a curly toe that causes it to resemble a hammer. It usually occurs on the second, third or fourth toe.

The main causes of hammertoe are:

  • Wearing short, narrow shoes that are too tight
  • The contraction of the tendons and soft tissues at the bottom and top of the toes, usually from bearing weight improperly.

Hammertoe is most likely to occur in:

  • Women who frequently wear high heels or shoes that do not fit well
  • Children who continuously wear shoes they have outgrown

A hammertoe can be prevented if it’s seen early enough. Treatment for hammertoe must begin right away because a hammertoe changes the way the joints react and rubs against each other, leading to arthritis, irritation, calluses and stiff bones. Failure to get treatment for hammertoe may cause the toe to become inflexible and ultimately require hammertoe surgery.

Basic treatment for hammertoe can include:

  • Wearing shoes that fit correctly
  • Avoiding high heels
  • Wearing soft insoles that help to relieve pressure on the toe
  • Wearing corn pads or felt pads to protect the joint that is sticking out
  • Exercises that help stretch and strengthen the toe muscle

Hammertoe Surgery

Long term treatment for hammertoe is surgical correction. Hammertoe surgery is a minimally invasive procedure done on an outpatient basis by making a small incision in the bottom of the toe to straighten the joint. Recovery time from hammertoe surgery is about three weeks.

The goal of hammertoe surgery, and any treatment for hammertoe is to relieve the pain, prevent the problem from getting worse, and getting back to normal activities as quickly as possible. Even if the toes remain slightly bent after the treatment for hammertoe, as long as the pain is eased the treatment is deemed a success.

If you think you need treatment for hammertoe or hammertoe surgery contact Adler Footcare today.