Hammer Toes

Hammer Toes

Hammer Toes services offered in Fresno and Madera, CA

Up to 3% of Americans have hammertoes, a condition that causes one or more of your toe joints to stay bent. At Advanced Foot Care and Clinical Research Center, board-certified podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons Jay Mukker, DPM, FABPM, CWSP, and Gavin Lee, DPM, specialize in managing and treating hammertoes. To make an appointment, call the office in Fresno or Madera, California, or book online today. 

Hammer Toes Q & A

What are hammertoes?

Hammertoes occur when an imbalance between the muscles, tendons, and ligaments keeps your toe straight. Over time, the imbalance causes your affected joint to bend instead of lying flat. Without treatment, the joint might lock, resulting in chronic pain and mobility issues.

What are the symptoms of hammertoes?

The symptoms of hammertoes include:

  • A toe joint that remains bent
  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Burning sensation
  • Calluses or corns on top of the affected toe
  • Swelling at the joint
  • Open sores

As the bend worsens, you might also experience pain or sensitivity in the ball of your foot.

What causes hammertoes?

Hammertoes form due to an imbalance between the soft tissues that hold your toe straight. That imbalance may occur for various reasons, including:

  • Genetics
  • Wearing tight or uncomfortable shoes
  • Having a neuromuscular disease, like diabetes
  • Trauma

If you’re concerned about the risk of hammertoes, contact Advanced Foot Care and Clinical Research Center.

How are hammertoes diagnosed?

To diagnose a hammertoe, your Advanced Foot Care and Clinical Research Center provider reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including when you first noticed the bent toe and if you’ve tried at-home treatment, like ice. 

Next, they examine your toe, gently moving it back and forth and from side to side to assess its strength, range of motion, and flexibility. Your provider also orders X-rays to assess the bones and joints at the front of your foot.

How are hammertoes treated?

Treatment of hammertoes depends on several factors, including your age, the severity of your symptoms, and their effect on your daily routine. Your Advanced Foot Care and Clinical Research Center provider might recommend:

  • Prescription shoes
  • Custom orthotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Insulating padding

If conservative treatment doesn’t bring lasting relief, your provider might recommend surgery. During hammertoe surgery, they use special tools to realign your joint and correct your toe’s position.

What is recovery like after hammertoe surgery?

Recovery after hammertoe surgery typically takes 4-6 weeks. During that time, take your medication as prescribed, get plenty of rest, and avoid strenuous activities. Once your body begins healing, enrolling in physical therapy and rehabilitation is crucial.

Rehab teaches you stretches and strengthening exercises that can help restore your mobility and range of motion.

To learn more about the treatment of hammertoes, make an appointment at Advanced Foot Care and Clinical Research Center by calling the nearest office or booking online today.