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Hammer Toes Specialist

Michigan Foot & Ankle Institute, PC

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Clinton Township, MI

Hammertoe can cause pain, irritation, and embarrassment, but it’s a very treatable problem. Michigan Foot & Ankle Institute, PC, with two locations in Clinton Township, Michigan, offers hammertoe solutions ranging from conservative options to surgical correction. Experienced board-certified foot and ankle specialists Edmund Kowalchick, DPM, and Stacey Miller, DPM, are here to help. To learn more about the treatments available for hammertoes, call the nearest office or book online today.

Hammer Toes Q & A

What are hammertoes?

Hammertoe is a toe deformity in which your middle toe joint bends up. This upwards movement in the middle segment of your toe pushes the last segment of your toe (the tip of your toe) down to make your toe look like a hammer. 

Usually, the condition starts as a flexible hammertoe. That means you can straighten the affected toe, but it often quickly returns to a bent position. 

If you don't treat flexible hammertoe, the deformity typically worsens over time. Eventually, you could have a rigid hammertoe, in which you can't move the affected joint at all. 

What are the signs and symptoms of hammertoe?

Hammertoe causes a variety of problems in your feet, including:

  • Corns on the top of the affected joint
  • Calluses on the tip of the toe
  • Pain when wearing shoes
  • Poor toe range-of-motion
  • Metatarsalgia - ball-of-foot pain under the toe

Severe rigid hammertoe can change your gait, potentially making walking painful and difficult. 

In addition to the problems related to hammertoe, you might also have bunions. Hammertoe and bunions occur together very frequently, and both deformities require treatment to maintain proper balance in your feet. 

What causes hammertoes?

Hammertoe happens because of abnormal muscle, tendon, or ligament balance inside your toes. There are many possible reasons for this imbalance, including inherited foot type, arthritis, and wearing overly tight shoes. 

How are hammertoes treated?

Michigan Foot & Ankle Institute, PC, offers both conservative and surgical care for hammertoes. In many cases, flexible hammertoe improves with non-surgical care such as padding, taping, custom orthotics, and anti-inflammatory medication for pain. 

Your doctor can help you manage rigid hammertoe symptoms with options like orthotics and footwear changes. But, the deformity itself won't improve with conservative care because the joint is immovable. 

Therefore, surgery is usually the only way to permanently correct a rigid hammertoe deformity that’s causing serious pain. During hammertoe surgery, your podiatric surgeon can remove excess bone and then realign your toe joint. 

If you also have a bunion, you may need surgery, such as a minimally invasive bunionectomy. When you have a bunion and hammertoe at the same time, treating both foot deformities is the only way to restore optimal foot alignment and prevent recurrence in the long term. 

Michigan Foot & Ankle Institute, PC, can help with hammertoes. Call the nearest office or book a visit online today.