Hammertoe Treatments

The main cause of hammertoes is genetics. The middle joint of the toe is affected and results in a bending deformity. Ligaments and tendons of the toe are tightened, which causes the joint to buckle and cock upward instead of lying flat.

Causes

  • Hammertoes are largely genetic
  • Wearing too tight of shoes or high heels that crowd the toes
  • Injury
  • Bunions that push the big toe against the other toes

Symptoms

  • Joint swelling in the toe that can result in pain
  • A corn or callus can develop on the top of the foot from rubbing
  • Infection
  • A callus can develop on the ball of the foot
  • Diabetics may develop an ulcer

Treatments

  • Shoes with roomy toe boxes
  • Avoiding high heels, especially ones with pointed toes
  • A pedorthist can help find the right shoe fit for your needs
  • Orthotics
  • Wearing soft pads over symptomatic areas of corns or calluses
  • Shaving thickened skin with a file or pumice stone
  • For more severe cases, surgery may be performed
    • Cutting or lengthening tendons
    • Transferring tendons
    • Shaving or removing bone
    • Inserting pins or implants