A hammer toe develops because of an abnormal balance of the muscles and tendons controlling the toes. This can be caused by a faulty foot structure (excess pronation or too high of an arch) or due to muscle weakness higher up in the leg.
Wearing shoes that are too tight
Bending of the toe (looks like upside down V)
Pain or corns forming on the top of the joint or the tip of the toe.
Painful motion of the toe joint
Pain on the ball of the foot
While you won’t be able to “cure your hammertoe, there are many things you can try to decrease your pain.
Apply a non-medicated hammer toe pad around the bony prominences of the toe
Wear a shoe with a wide toe box and avoid wearing socks or shoes that are too tight
Rest and ice
Over-the-counter pain medication
Dr. Amin and Dr. Hurwitz always start by listening to your concerns and performing a thorough physical examination.
X-rays are often required
The treatment options vary with the type and severity of each hammer toe, but your treatment options may include:
Prescription anti inflammatory or steroid injections to help decrease pain and inflamation
Padding and taping to help offload pressure from the painful joints
Custom orthotics can often be helpful by helping to control abnormal foot function
If conservative measures do not work, surgical correction of the hammertoes may be required.