Hammertoes Specialist

Foot & Ankle Specialty Center

Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Willow Grove, PA

If your smaller toes are abnormally bent, you can experience corns and toe stiffness that become so uncomfortable, every step you take causes pain. Before your hammertoes bother you another day, see how the board-certified team of podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Specialty Center in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, can help. Schedule your hammertoe evaluation directly through the website or call the clinic to speak with a team member.

Hammertoes Q & A

What causes hammertoes?

Hammertoes develop if one or more of the joints in your smaller toes — usually the second, third, or fourth toes — bend abnormally. Sometimes, hammertoes are hereditary because of certain faulty foot mechanics, like unstable joints or smaller toes that extend past your big toe.

When you slip into a pair of snug or pointy shoes, especially if you have these underlying issues, your toe bends to make room for itself. Over time, muscles and tendons are trained to keep your toe bent and hammertoes develop.

Occasionally, hammertoes form because you injured your toe, possibly due to a small fracture after stubbing your toe. You may also be prone to developing hammertoes if you have arthritis. 

How are hammertoes diagnosed?

When you come to Foot & Ankle Specialty Center for a hammertoe evaluation, your dedicated podiatrist examines your feet to determine if your hammertoes are flexible or rigid. They may also gather in-office X-rays to evaluate the severity of your toe deformity.

Once your podiatrist diagnoses you, they talk with you about your symptoms to determine which treatments are best for you. Your podiatrist needs to know if your hammertoe is:

  • Causing pain or discomfort
  • Associated with corns or calluses
  • Leading to a limited range of motion or stiffness

You should also inform your podiatrist if your hammertoe ever causes swelling, tenderness, or shooting pain so they can personalize your treatment plan. 

Which hammertoe treatments are available?

Treating hammertoes often involves a combination of therapies to relieve pain, improve joint mobility, and promote healing. Your hammertoe treatment plan from Foot & Ankle Specialty Center may include:

  • Foot padding
  • Changes in footwear
  • Corn or callus removal 
  • Custom-molded orthotics
  • Daily stretching or physical therapy 
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Hammertoe surgery is generally the last resort if conservative solutions aren’t effective. The most common type of hammertoe surgery offered at Foot & Ankle Specialty Center is an arthroplasty. This minimally invasive procedure involves removing a small section of bone to encourage your toe to flatten out.

As an alternative, if you have severely rigid hammertoes, your podiatrist could recommend an arthrodesis procedure. This type of hammertoe surgery involves fusing your small toe joints together, often with a pin, to help straighten your toe. 

In any case, Foot & Ankle Specialty Center entirely personalizes your hammertoe surgery to you. Your dedicated podiatrist can make any essential repairs and rebalance your connective tissues so you experience relief from the most complex of hammertoes. 

Book your hammertoe exam at Foot & Ankle Specialty Center today. Click the online scheduler or call the office directly.