What Is Hammertoe?

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Hammertoe is an abnormal bend in the joints of one or more toes, typically occurring in the second toe. It starts out as a mild deformity, but becomes worse with time. In its early stages, hammertoes can be treated with conservative measures. But if left untreated, hammertoe may require surgery. To follow are some questions about this condition.

What Causes Hammertoe?

  • Wearing high-heeled or pointed shoes force the toes into a cramped position, causing them to bend abnormally.
  • Hammertoe may develop following a traumatic injury to your toes.
  • Hammertoe commonly occurs in people who have nerve damage in their feet, due to medical issues including diabetes and poor blood circulation.

How Do I Know If I Have Hammertoe?

  • Pain or irritation occurs when you wear shoes.
  • Corns and calluses develop on your toes, or the ball of your foot.
  • Inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation occurs on the sole of your foot .
  • In severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Hammertoe?

  • A physical examination will determine the presence of hammertoe, and the foot doctor may find you have decreased movement in the toes.
  • X-rays may be taken to determine the degree of your deformity, and the appropriate treatment measures.

How Is Hammertoe Treated?

  • Avoiding ill-fitting shoes can help relieve pain.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may prevent pain and inflammation.
  • For cases that do not improve with conservative treatments, surgery may be required to release the tendon preventing your toes from laying flat.

Do You Suspect You May Have Hammertoe? Contact Dr. Gabriel Maislos to Schedule an Exam.

For more information about hammertoe and available treatment options, please contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our office is located in Houston, and we can be reached at (713) 541-3199. We look forward to hearing from you.


Houston Foot and Ankle