hammer-toeHammertoes are a condition of the foot in which the digits of the foot bend downward or curl under, like a hammer. The digits can become painful due to shoe gear as well as pressure on the tips of the digits and on the tops of the toes. Continuous rubbing and shear force on these areas may cause open wounds as well as calluses that eventually lead to pain in the foot and specifically in the toes.

Hammertoes can be caused by foot type (such as a high arching foot or flat foot), by wearing inappropriate shoe gear such as sandals, and from injuries to the toes. Additionally, hammertoes can be occur because of strokes that may cause other foot deformities and curling of the digits.

Treatment Options

A variety of treatments exist for this condition. Treatment includes padding for the digits, the wearing of orthotics (inserts) to compensate for foot deformities, stretching of the digits to relax some of the ligaments surrounding the digits, as well as the removal of the painful calluses/ lesions that are created on the digits. These treatments need to be rendered by podiatric specialists in order to make sure that no other problems arise. If conservative treatments are not sufficient, foot and ankle specialists may repair the digits surgically.

If a patient has diabetes or other conditions that may affect the lower extremity, such as a lack of circulation or a loss of sensation (neuropathy), the hammertoes need to be evaluated and treated in order to avoid the creation of wounds or calluses. If you are experiencing pain or other problems with hammertoes, please contact Southwest Austin Foot and Ankle Clinic to schedule an appointment.

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