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Hammertoe

Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Southeast Georgia and South Carolina

Hammertoe causes your toe to contract and bend down sharply, which can make it incredibly uncomfortable to walk. At Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC, with 12 locations throughout Southern Georgia and South Carolina, you can get hammertoe diagnosis and treatment immediately on site. Call the location nearest you or request an appointment online today.

Hammertoe Q & A

What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe is bending in one or both joints in your lesser toes (the toes other than your big toes). If you have hammertoe, the joint in the middle of your toe is usually the one that contracts, which makes your toe look clawlike. 

Hammertoe often causes inflammation and may cause a burning sensation in the affected toe. Sometimes a hammertoe can lead to corns because of friction between the affected toe and your shoe. You could also be distributing your weight improperly because of hammertoe discomfort, which can lead to calluses.

What causes hammertoe?

Hammertoe is usually caused by muscle/tendon imbalance that comes from changes in the foot over time. Wearing shoes that are too small or that cramp your toes can contribute to hammertoe. In some cases, hammertoe develops following toe trauma. You can also inherit a predisposition for hammertoe. 

How do you diagnose hammertoe?

The team at Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC, can often make a preliminary hammertoe diagnosis after a foot exam. You’ll also have a weight-bearing X-ray as part of the diagnostic process. This is the best way to fully assess joint damage and see how it’s affected your foot. 

How is hammertoe treated?

Hammertoe treatment at Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC, depends on its severity and your symptoms. Treatment usually consists of conservative solutions, such as: 

Padding

Pads that fit on top of your hammertoe can make you more comfortable while wearing shoes. Padding can also prevent corns and calluses. 

Strapping

Strapping, which is often combined with padding, holds your toe in place with gentle pressure, which can help the joint resume its normal position naturally. 

Custom orthotics

Custom orthotics can correct the foot imbalance that’s causing your hammertoe. They can also help with extra problems, like corns, that are triggered by hammertoe.

Medication

Oral anti-inflammatory drugs or injected corticosteroids can soothe inflammation and pain. 

If your hammertoe doesn’t improve with conservative treatments, your podiatrist at Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC, may recommend surgery to reposition your toe, relieve pain, and restore normal foot appearance. 

The team at Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC, wants to help you put hammertoe behind you. Reach out to the office located nearest you or use the online scheduler to get started now.