Did you know that about 60 million Americans have hammertoes? Though common, this painful foot deformity increases your risk of other problems, including corns, calluses, and infection. At Eastside Podiatry PLLC in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, board-certified podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons Hatim Burhani, DPM, FACFAS, Siraj Panchbhaiya, DPM, FACFAS, and the team specialize in treating hammertoes using safe, effective methods of care. To request your appointment, call the office and speak with a friendly team member or book online today.
A hammertoe is a painful foot deformity. It’s a result of instability in the muscles and ligaments responsible for holding your toes straight. The type of shoes you wear, the structure of your feet, and certain diseases may contribute to the problem, causing pain, discomfort, and in severe cases, immobility.
Hammertoes can affect any of your toes, but they’re especially common in the second, third, and fourth toes. The condition causes the middle joint of one or more toes to bend abnormally in a hammerhead-like shape, hence its name.
The most obvious symptom of a hammertoe is a visible, hook-like bend that occurs in one or more of your middle toes. If you have a hammertoe, you might also experience corns, calluses, and blisters on the tops of your affected toe. If you have diabetes or another chronic condition, hammertoes can also increase your risk of infection, gangrene, or amputation.
Hammertoes affect people of all races, but certain factors may increase your risk, including:
The size of your toes also plays a role. If your second toe is longer than your big toe, you’re more likely to experience hammertoe.
To diagnose hammertoes, your Eastside Podiatry PLLC provider physically examines your feet and toes, reviews your medical history, and asks you questions about your symptoms, including the severity of pain. Your provider also orders X-rays to get a closer look at the bones and joints in your toes and feet.
Whenever possible, the providers at Eastside Podiatry PLLC recommend conservative, noninvasive treatments to ease pain caused by hammertoes. For example, they might recommend wearing more comfortable shoes, custom-made orthotics, or pads and inserts. Your provider might also recommend a series of at home exercises, like picking up marbles with your toes, to strengthen and stretch your toe muscles.
If conservative treatments don’t significantly ease your symptoms, surgical intervention may be necessary. During surgery for hammertoes, your provider carefully releases the tendon preventing your affected toe from lying flat.
To request your appointment at Eastside Podiatry PLLC, call the office or book online today.