What are Hammertoes?

Hammertoe is a deformity that causes a toe to bend at one of its joint. The condition most commonly affects the second toe on the foot. Whether hammertoe is caused by arthritis or ill-fitting shoes, it’s important to seek treatment once the condition becomes painful or interferes with your quality of life. Hammertoe deformity may worsen over time, and if not treated in the early stages, may require surgery.

How Can I Treat Hammertoes?

There are various types of treatments for hammertoes that can be prescribed by a foot doctor, including:

  • Physical therapy – For mild forms of hammertoe, a physical therapist can create a customized exercise plan to help stretch out the muscle in the affected toe. Specific exercise may include toe crunches, rolls, and squeezes designed to relieve cramping and straighten the toe.
  • Custom orthotics – If you have hammertoe, you should avoid footwear such as narrow shoes and high heels that force your toes into a bent position. Custom orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist can help counteract muscle imbalances and help reposition your feet and toes.
  • Surgery – There are several surgical options to treat hammertoe, depending on the severity of your condition. For example, a joint resection involves cutting bone, ligaments and tendons to straighten the toe, whereas a tendon transfer is a procedure in which the surgeon pulls a tendon near the hammertoe across the joint, which straightens it and improves its appearance.

To determine the most effective hammertoe treatment, it’s best to consult the highly trained specialists at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care. Call us today at the location nearest to you or use our online form to request a consultation.

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