Hammertoe Treatments

Washington, DC, US

Service Information

Podiatry

United States

DC

Washington

Podiatry

Service Description

Hammertoes are caused by muscle imbalances in the toe. Ligaments and tendons of the toe are tightened, which causes the joint to buckle and appear slightly deformed. Hammertoe deformities are fixed structural deformities affecting one or multiple toes of the feet. Each toe (except the big toe) consists of 3 separate joints. Hammertoes can affect one of multiple joints of each toe. Hammertoe deformities cause a bending of the toe which is created by ‘jamming’ of bones in toe joints, and is considered one of the most common foot deformities. Most often it is seen in the middle joint of the toe causing a bend. This ailment is more common in women than men at a rate of about 5:1 and the incidence increases with age. Treatment options vary based on severities and symptoms.

Causes:

  • Injury
  • Wearing too tight shoes or high heels that crowd the toes
  • Tightness of ligaments and tendons due to other foot deformities such as bunion, flatfoot, high arch foot, etc.
  • Muscle imbalance due to other neuromuscular diseases
  • Age

Symptoms

  • Joint swelling or redness in the toe that can result in pain and inflammation
  • A corn or callus can develop on the top of the toe
  • Pain or callus on the tip of your toe due to constant rubbing
  • Infection
  • Visible bending of the toe
  • A callus can develop on the ball of the foot
  • Diabetics may develop an ulcer which can lead to digital amputation

Treatments

Conservative treatment options are utilized to reduce symptoms and for better functionality in daily life.  
  • Shoes with a larger toe box
  • Modification of the shoes
  • Avoiding high heels, especially ones with pointed toes
  • Orthotics provide better support and stability to your feet
  • Wearing soft pads over symptomatic areas of corns or calluses
  • Using toe crest pads to relieve pressure on the tip of the toe
  • Using creams to soften calluses
  • For more severe cases, surgery may be necessary
    • Cutting or lengthening tendons
    • Transferring tendons
    • Shaving or removing bone
    • Fusing the joint
    • Release of joint capsules
    • Inserting pins or implants

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Last updated: Dec 24, 2019 12:29 am

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Posted By

Dr. Alvin Bannerjee, DPM

Dr. Alvin Bannerjee, DPM

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Dr. Bannerjee recently moved to the Washington DC area from Northern California. He is ... read more

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Foot And Ankle Specialists Of The Mid Atlantic