A Hammertoe is a deformity involving the smaller toes. The deformity is often the result of a tendon imbalance involving the flexor and extensor tendons which causes the contracture or tightening of a joint of one or more of the smaller toes. The tendon imbalance occurs from changes in the structure of the foot over time.
Ill-fitting shoes, can aggravate the deformity and in some cases can actually be the cause of the hammertoe. Additionally, in some cases a Hammertoe can be the result of trauma or genetics.
- Pain resulting from shoe gear
- Pain in the ball of the foot
- Open sores
Hammertoes, like Bunions, are a progressive deformity that worsens over time. In order to avoid surgical treatment it is encouraged that an individual suffering from a hammertoe seek medical attention sooner rather than later.
Non Surgical Treatments:
- Trimming corns and calluses
- Padding irritated areas
- Change shoe gear
- Medication to decrease inflammation
- Splinting / strapping to realign the joint
- Orthotic devices
If the deformity is painful and decreases the ability to perform desired activities, and makes shoe fitting difficult surgery may be performed to correct the deformity.
Common Surgical Procedures:
- Arthroplasty – Removal of a section of the bone of the deformed joint to correct the hammertoe
- Arthrodesis – Fusing of the toe joint
- Tendon/Muscle Rebalancing or Lengthening
Podiatric Surgeons will perform a clinical examination, review X-rays and other diagnostic imaging, and assess your post-operative goals to guide your treatment.