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Hammertoes Specialist

Podiatry & Hand & Upper Extremity Orthopedic Surgery located in Worcester, Webster, & Leominster, MA

Podiatry & Hand & Upper Extremity Orthopedic Surgery located in Worcester, Webster, & Leominster, MA

Hammertoes are a foot deformity affecting the toes, which may cause pain that limits mobility. Premier Foot and Ankle Center & Elite Upper Extremity and Plastic Surgery in Worcester, Webster, and Leominster, Massachusetts, specializes in diagnosing and treating hammertoes. Call the office nearest you for professional and gentle care, or schedule your hammertoe consultation online today.

Hammertoes Q & A

What are hammertoes?

Hammertoes is a progressive foot deformity affecting the joints in the second, third, fourth, or fifth toe. The middle joint in your toe is stuck in an upward position with a hammertoe, causing the toe to bend under like a claw or hammer.

The abnormal bend in the toe joint may cause pain when walking and the development of corns or calluses on the affected toe.

Hammertoes develop in stages. Your provider at Premier Foot and Ankle Center & Elite Upper Extremity and Plastic Surgery may classify your hammertoe as:

Flexible hammertoes

During the initial stages of a hammertoe, your joint is flexible. This is known as a flexible hammertoe. With this type of hammertoe, you may improve the foot deformity with conservative care.

Semi-rigid hammertoes

Over time, your hammertoe starts to stiffen, reaching the semi-rigid stage.

Rigid hammertoes

With rigid hammertoes, the joint no longer moves because the muscles and tendons are too stiff. 

What causes hammertoes?

In most cases, hammertoes develop because of weak foot or leg muscles, causing the tendon in your toe to pull up. 

You may also develop a hammertoe following a foot or toe injury or if you wear shoes that crowd your toes. In some people, hammertoes are an inherited foot deformity. 

What happens during an evaluation for hammertoes?

When you visit Premier Foot and Ankle Center & Elite Upper Extremity and Plastic Surgery for a hammertoe evaluation, you can expect a comprehensive exam.

Your provider reviews your concerns and evaluates your foot and toes. To determine the severity of your deformity, your provider requests X-rays of your toes. 

How are hammertoes treated?

Premier Foot and Ankle Center & Elite Upper Extremity and Plastic Surgery customizes treatment for hammertoes based on the stage of your deformity.

For a flexible hammertoe, your provider may take a non-surgical approach and recommend:

  • A change in footwear
  • Custom orthotics
  • Shoe padding to prevent corns and calluses
  • Stretching exercises
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

For rigid hammertoes or hammertoes that affect your quality of life, Premier Foot and Ankle Center & Elite Upper Extremity and Plastic Surgery may recommend surgical intervention to fix the deformity. 

Hammertoes don’t get better on their own. For expert care, call Premier Foot and Ankle Center & Elite Upper Extremity and Plastic Surgery, or book a consultation online today.