Hammertoe Q & A
What are hammertoes?
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.
What are the symptoms of hammertoes?
Who is at risk of experiencing hammertoes?
Hammertoes affect people of all races, but certain factors may increase your risk, including:
- Being middle-aged or older
- Being a woman
- Wearing tight or uncomfortable shoes
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.
What is the process for diagnosing hammertoes?
What is the process for treating hammertoes?
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.