A hammertoe is a toe deformity that gets its name because it causes one or more of your middle toes to become severely bent at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. When a toe bends at the tip joint, it is referred to as a claw toe. When several claw toes form on one foot, it is known as clawfoot.
Hammertoes are caused by pressure and tendon imbalances. Footwear that pushes your toes together is a risk factor for developing hammertoes and other toe and foot problems.
3 treatments for hammertoes may include the following:
- Properly fitted shoes with orthotic supports—Depending upon their rigidity, the pain and pressure caused by hammertoes can be treated with the correct supportive footwear, and the right orthotic arch and metatarsal support. The metatarsal pads lift the base of the toes so the tendons can lengthen and straighten out the toe.
- Strength and flexibility exercises—If the hammertoes are still in the early stage and not overly rigid, a variety of physical therapy exercises for the toes can help straighten out the bent toes.
- Surgery—For rigid hammertoes that don’t respond to other treatments, surgery may be necessary.
If you are experiencing painful hammertoes, we highly recommend that you consult with our board-certified podiatrists. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.