Hammer Toe

San Juan Foot & Ankle Center

Podiatry & Foot & Ankle Surgery located in Montrose, CO & Delta, CO

Hammertoes can cause discomfort and make it difficult to find the right shoes to wear. Get relief through treatment at San Juan Foot and Ankle Center in Montrose and Delta, Colorado. Leading podiatrists and foot surgeons, Christopher O. Cook, DPM, FACFAS, and Kyle Nay, DPM, provide reliable conservative and surgical management of hammertoes. Slow the progression of your hammertoes today by scheduling a visit online or calling the office.

Hammer Toe Q & A

What is a hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a deformity of the toe that causes it to bend upward at one of the joints. This abnormal bending puts pressure on the point of the toe and the top of the toe where they come into contact with your shoes. Over time, this pressure can cause corns and calluses.

In the early stages, hammertoes are flexible and can be straightened. Without treatment, hammertoes can get worse and become rigid so that you aren’t able to straighten them anymore. This may lead to permanent deformities in your toe and foot.

A hammertoe is a progressive condition that requires treatment to reduce the need for major intervention — like surgery — in the future.

What causes a hammertoe?

Hammertoes are most often caused by a muscle and tendon imbalance. This imbalance causes the toe to bend. The muscle and tendon imbalance is caused by either structural or neurological changes to the foot over time.

Shoes that don’t fit well can make hammertoes worse. It is best to avoid shoes that are too small or tight in the toes or come to a point at the toes. Sometimes, hammertoes may be the result of prior foot trauma or they may be an inherited trait.

What is the treatment for hammertoe?

If your doctors identify that you have one or more hammertoes, they’ll recommend a treatment plan to reduce to severity of the bend in your toe and prevent further discomfort. For corns and calluses, your doctors may recommend specific types of padding. It is best to avoid medicated pads for corns and calluses as they contain a type of acid that may be harmful to your skin.

Your doctors may also recommend changing the types of shoes your wear. Shoes that are too short or narrow or those with pointed toes or high heels can force your toes into the bent position and may make it difficult to recover. Orthotic devices may also be helpful to make your shoes more comfortable and supportive.

In severe cases, your doctors may recommend surgery to correct rigid hammertoes.

Treatment for hammertoes can help you avoid discomfort and lower your risk of needing surgery. Call or schedule an appointment with Dr. Cook or Dr. Nay at San Juan Foot and Ankle Center to learn more.

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