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Hammertoes

Southwest Foot & Ankle

Podiatrists & Diabetic Foot Care Specialists located in St. George, UT & Ely, NV

Hammertoes, or abnormal bent deformities of your smaller toes, lead to pain, stiffness, and tender corns. If you have hammertoes that are newly forming or that are more severe, contact David Magnesen, DPM, and Ryan Peterson, DPM, at Southwest Foot & Ankle in St. George, Utah, or Ely, Nevada. The podiatry team offers both conservative and surgical hammertoe repair solutions, so you can experience the foot pain relief you deserve. Click on the request appointment tool or call the clinic nearest you directly to book your hammertoe evaluation.

Hammertoes Q & A

What are hammertoes?

Hammertoes get their nickname from the shape of your deformed toes. You develop an abnormal bend in one or both of your smaller toe joints, which causes your toe to resemble a hammer.

These common toe deformities occur when you have a muscle and tendon imbalance. Usually, this imbalance happens when your smaller toes get scrunched up on a regular basis, which often happens with your second toe if it’s longer than your big toe.

Because your toe can’t lie flat, likely because of snug-fitting shoes, it continues to stay bent. Your muscles and tendons learn to keep your toe in this new bent position over time, which is why hammertoes develop. Your risk further increases if you have arthritis or previous toe injuries.

When should I see a podiatrist for hammertoes?

Hammertoes begin as flexible deformities that flatten out when you take off your shoes. But over time, they stiffen and become more permanent issues. It’s easier to treat hammertoes if they’re still in the flexible stage, although the podiatrists at Southwest Foot & Ankle can treat the most complex of hammertoe issues. They encourage you to come in for a foot exam if you experience:

  • Limited range of motion
  • Burning sensations
  • Painful corns
  • Open sores

In some cases, hammertoes develop because of pressure from bunions. Because of this, it’s important to get treatment for your bunions as soon as they start forming, as you may be able to prevent hammertoes in this case.

How are hammertoes treated?

Southwest Foot & Ankle provides conservative hammertoe treatment plans to help you experience effective relief while promoting healing of connective tissues. Your hammertoe treatment plan may involve any of the following therapies:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Daily toe stretches
  • Custom orthotics
  • Footwear changes
  • Corn removal
  • Padding

Conservative hammertoe treatments aren’t enough for everyone though, and you might need surgical intervention. Hammertoe surgery from Southwest Foot & Ankle can involve realigning your toe joints and removing any damaged tissues in a minimally invasive manner, so you can experience lasting relief from toe pain.

If you have hammertoes, contact Southwest Foot & Ankle for an evaluation before your pain worsens. You can book a visit with either office using our request appointment tool or by phone today.