Hammertoes: A Painful Toe Abnormality

Hammertoes is a common toe deformity that can be quite painful. If you have noticed that one or more of your inner toes look rigid or curled and that corns or calluses are appearing on the tops, you may have this condition.

Hammertoes are caused by a tendon/muscle imbalance that can cause toes to bend over time and to rub against shoe tops. The condition is usually hereditary but may also be worsened by shoes that are too tight or that don’t fit properly, or even a high foot arch. Foot or toe trauma may cause hammertoes and arthritis in the joints can aggravate this problem.

Diagnosing and Treating Hammertoes

At Your Next Step we will examine your feet carefully to determine if your toe pain is due to hammertoes. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen can determine the extent of muscle contractions with gentle manipulation of your feet and toes. We will take x-rays right in our Ardmore, Paoli or Downington office to measure the extent of deformity.

Hammertoes usually do not get better on their own so contact us to visit one of our offices as soon as possible. Conservative or non-surgical treatments can include:

  • Wearing shoes with a roomy toe box and low heels.
  • Adding special padding for corns and calluses to relieve chafing.
  • Custom-fitted orthotics that control the tendon/muscle imbalance.
  • Wearing splints or straps to realign bent toes.
  • Stretching exercises for the toes to strengthen muscles.
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to relieve pain and inflammation.

We may recommend surgery if the hammertoes are excessively painful or rigid. Our board certified and qualified foot surgeons can perform any necessary surgery on an out-patient basis.

Contact Us if You Have any Toe Abnormality

Rigid and painful toes are not normal and may indicate a hammertoes problem. Call our Ardmore and Downingtown offices at 610-642-8837 or our Paoli office at 610-644-6501 to schedule an evaluation appointment. Our website has more information on hammertoes and other conditions. The sooner you come in to visit us, the sooner any painful or uncomfortable foot or ankle condition can be addressed.

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