PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic
Eric Blanson, DPM
Sports Medicine & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Spring, TX
Hammertoes affect up to 10% of the United States population, with a more frequent occurrence as you get older. While the condition starts out as a mild deformity, hammertoes get progressively worse, and if they’re left untreated, they make your toes rigid and less responsive to nonsurgical treatments. At PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic in Spring, Texas, Eric Blanson, DPM, can give your hammertoe the care and attention it needs to get better. To learn more about hammertoe and how you can treat it, call the office or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.
Hammertoe Q & A
What is hammertoe?
Hammertoe results when one or both joints in your second, third, fourth, or fifth toes become perpetually flexed or bent downward. Common causes of hammertoe include:
- Muscle or tendon imbalance
- Ill-fitting shoes
- Traumatic toe injury
- An unusually high foot arch
- Pressure from a bunion
- Tight foot ligaments or tendons
In some patients, hammertoe develops due to a genetic condition, or certain diseases like arthritis can make you more susceptible to foot deformities.
What are the symptoms of hammertoe?
If you have a mild case of hammertoe, you may experience a lack of flexibility and resulting pain when you walk or stretch the affected toe. You may also develop corns or calluses and notice that your toes bend downward, which also makes it difficult to walk.
It’s important to seek out medical treatment when your hammertoe is in its early stages because if it goes untreated for too long, the tendons of your toes will eventually contract and cause the toes to become permanently bent.
Delaying treatment can also affect surrounding toes and cause them to become deformed as the hammertoe pushes them out of their natural position.
How do you treat hammertoe?
Your provider at PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic first examines your foot and performs various diagnostic tests to assess your condition. They conduct a physical exam and imaging tests like X-rays to evaluate the bones and joints of your feet.
If you have a mild case of hammertoe and your toe is still flexible, your provider may recommend changing to more spacious and comfortable footwear to accommodate your toes.
They may also suggest orthotics or padding for your feet to relieve pressure and pain, and reposition your toe. In addition, your provider teaches you gentle stretches and exercises to relieve pain and strengthen the affected toe.
If more conservative treatments don’t improve your condition or you suffer from a severe case of hammertoe that leaves you unable to flex your toe, surgery may be your only remaining option to restore movement.
Your provider at PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic can discuss surgical options to reposition your toe, remove deformed and injured bone, and realign the tendons that prevent your toes from lying flat.
Avoid complications with your hammertoe by starting your treatment right away. Call the office or use the online booking tool to make an appointment at PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic.