A hammertoe is a deformity of the toe in which the toe is bent at the middle joint, causing it to resemble an inverted V or a hammer. Although any toe is susceptible to becoming a hammertoe, the condition most commonly appears in the second, third, or fourth toes. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and require surgery to correct.

Causes of Hammertoe

  • Arthritis
  • Heredity
  • Muscle imbalance
  • Trauma to the toe
  • Wearing shoes that fit too tightly

Symptoms of Hammertoe

  • Corns and calluses on the top of the toe's middle joint or on the tip of the toe
  • Difficulty in finding comfortable shoes
  • Pain in the toes

Treatments for Hammertoe

  • Steroid injection therapy, which can sometimes reduce inflammation at the joint
  • Surgery, for the most severe cases
  • Using commercially available straps, cushions, or nonmedicated corn pads
  • Wearing shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes that allow you to stretch your toes and strengthen their muscles

Prevention of Hammertoe

  • Have someone treat you to a foot massage--doctor's orders!
  • Keep your feet up when sitting down
  • Wear appropriate shoes that are comfortable; custom-made orthotics , available at New Orleans Podiatry Associates, may also slow the progress of hammertoes

For more information on hammertoe treatment, call New Orleans Podiatry Associates in New Orleans, LA, at (504) 897-3627. For the Metairie, LA, location, call (504) 457-2300.

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