Hammertoe

A hammertoe is a contracture, or bending, of the toe at the first joint of the digit, called the proximal interphalangeal joint. This bending causes the toe to appear like an upside-down V when looked at from the side. Any toe can be involved, but the condition usually affects the second through fifth toes, known as the lesser digits. Hammertoes are more common to females than males.
There are two different types:

  • flexible hammertoes
  • rigid hammertoes


Symptoms

  • Pain upon pressure at the top of the bent toe from footwear.
  • The formation of corns on the top of the joint.
  • Redness and swelling at the joint contracture.
  • Restricted or painful motion of the toe joint.
  • Pain in the ball of the foot at the base of the affected toe.

Treatment
The treatment options vary with the type and severity of each hammertoe, although identifying the deformity early in its development is important to avoid surgery. Podiatric medical attention should be sought at the first indication of pain and discomfort because, if left untreated, hammertoes tend to become rigid, making a nonsurgical treatment less of an option.
Your podiatric physician will examine and X-ray the affected area and recommend a treatment plan specific to your condition.

  • Padding & Taping
  • Medication
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Surgical Options (see before and after photos)

More information
You can also download our Podiatry-at-a-Glance newsletters: A Guide to Hammertoe Deformity.