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Hammertoes Specialist

Chicagoland Foot and Ankle

Board Certified Foot and Ankle Specialists & Surgeons located in Beverly/Mt. Greenwood, Portage Park Chicago, IL & Orland Park, IL & New Lenox, IL

Hammertoe is a common condition that can result in stiff and painful toes. If you notice symptoms of hammertoes, the experienced podiatrists at Chicagoland Foot and Ankle, with locations in the Beverly/Mt. Greenwood and Portage Park areas of Chicago, as well as Orland Park and New Lenox, Illinois, offer both non-surgical and surgical hammertoe treatment. To learn more, book your appointment by phone or online today.

Hammertoes Q&A

What is a hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a type of foot deformity that causes abnormal bending at one or both of the joints in your smaller toes. Hammertoe is a progressive condition that typically starts out as a mild deformity. Over time, the affected toes can become rigid and painful. 

Symptoms of hammertoe include:

  • Corns and calluses
  • Redness and swelling at the bent joint
  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Restricted movement of the affected toes

Because hammertoe gets worse over time, early detection is key to successful non-surgical treatment. Once the toe becomes rigid, you may need surgery to eliminate your discomfort and correct the deformity. 

What causes hammertoes?

Hammertoe occurs when there is an imbalance to the muscles and tendons in your toes. This imbalance increases the pressure on your tendons and joints, which causes abnormal bending.

Certain people are at a higher risk of developing hammertoe because of their genetics and foot type, such as those with flat feet or high arches. Issues like improper footwear or toe injuries can also result in hammertoes. 

Wearing narrow or tight-fitting shoes leaves your toes in a cramped position which can increase your risk of hammertoe. Wearing high heel shoes is associated with an increased incidence of hammertoe. 

How is hammertoe diagnosed?

To determine the best treatment for your condition, your podiatrist at Chicagoland Foot and Ankle performs a thorough examination, including a physical exam and imaging tests. They also discuss your symptoms and go over your medical history. 

Your podiatrist uses the details of your examination to determine the severity of your condition and guide your personalized treatment plan. Hammertoe is a progressive condition that won’t go away on its own. 

During your appointment, your podiatrist provides you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your foot health.

What treatments are available for hammertoes?

Treatment depends on the severity of your deformity. If your hammertoe is mild and in the early stages, your podiatrist may recommend non-surgical conservative treatments like:

  • Footwear changes
  • Physical therapy
  • Padding
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Orthotics
  • Cortisone injections

If your hammertoe is rigid or causes significant pain, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. The goal of hammertoe surgery is to eliminate your pain and restore the alignment of your toes. 

To find out which hammertoe treatment is right for you, call Chicagoland Foot and Ankle, or book your appointment online today.