Not only are they unsightly, but hammertoes can also lead to serious foot discomfort. Before your hammertoes start causing you pain on a daily basis, schedule an evaluation with leading podiatrists Randy Leff, DPM, and Kevin Sorensen, DPM, of Michfoot Surgeons PC. You can click on the online booking feature to schedule your hammertoe exam at this Southfield, Michigan, podiatry practice or call the office to speak with a team member.

Hammertoe Q & A

What causes a hammertoe?

Your toes are supposed to lie flat with the help of connective tissues such as muscles and tendons. If these connective tissues become imbalanced, like if your tendons are constantly strained while your muscles completely relax, your joints start to stay in that bent position. This is known as a hammertoe.

One of the most common causes of a hammertoe is improper footwear that’s pointy or too tight in the toe box. These shoe shapes are known for causing your toes to become scrunched up. But you can also develop one or more hammertoes due to:

  • Arthritis or toe trauma
  • Older age
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Inherited foot shape
  • Smaller toes that are longer than your big toe

Although hammertoes are an abnormal bend in your middle toe joint, mallet toes — which develop for the same reasons — affect the joint closest to your toenail. Claw toes are also similar, although they leave your toes severely clenched up, like a fist. In any case, these toe joint deformities are known for causing uncomfortable symptoms.

Do hammertoes cause pain?

They certainly can. Because hammertoes actually lead to a change in the shape and structure of your toe joint, you can experience tremendous joint:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness

To make matters worse, since hammertoes cause your affected toes to rub against the insides of your shoes, you can also develop uncomfortable corns and calluses. Before your hammertoes — or mallet toes — start causing you discomfort and keeping you from doing the things you enjoy, visit Michfoot Surgeons PC for an evaluation.

How are hammertoes treated?

Your hammertoe treatment plan at Michfoot Surgeons PC may start with conservative treatments, especially if your joe joint is still flexible. You may benefit from:

  • Supportive orthotics
  • Specialty shoes
  • Padding or taping
  • Strengthening exercises

Sometimes, the best solution for treating hammertoes, particularly if they’re stiff and rigid, is arthroscopic surgery. This minimally invasive procedure allows Dr. Leff or Dr. Sorensen to realign and correct your affected toe joint (or joints) to allow your toe to straighten.

If your hammertoe is more severe, you might need to have the affected joints fused together, a procedure known as arthrodesis. No matter which treatment or which surgery is right for you though, you can feel confident that the board-certified foot and ankle surgeons at Michfoot Surgeons PC can help you.

Book your hammertoe evaluation at Michfoot Surgeons PC today. Click on the online scheduler, or call the office directly.

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