Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Care & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Scottsdale, AZ and servicing the greater Phoenix area

Hammertoe services offered in Scottsdale, AZ

A hammertoe is a common foot deformity that causes the middle joint of a toe to bend upwards rather than holding its normal, straight position. David Larson, DPM, a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon, offers nonsurgical care and corrective surgery for hammertoes based on your individual needs. To make an appointment, call the office in Mesa or Phoenix, Arizona, or request an appointment today.

Hammertoe Q&A

What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe is an abnormality that affects the middle toe joint in the second, third, or fourth toes. It causes the joint to bend upwards, staying in the bent position. Sometimes, a hammertoe can overlap the next toe. 

There are two types of hammertoe: flexible and rigid. If you can push on the toe joint and it can straighten out, this is a flexible hammertoe. But if the joint becomes more stiff, a rigid hammertoe can develop and make it more difficult for the toe to return to its normal position. 

Hammertoes are progressive, often worsening over time if they’re not properly treated. They can also cause other foot problems like corns and calluses. In more severe cases of hammertoe, it can make it painful and difficult to walk. 

What causes hammertoe?

Hammertoe develops when changes in your toe muscles lead to abnormal pressure on tendons and joints. When the tendons tighten, they press your toe joint out of alignment and cause hammertoe to form.

Many factors may lead to hammertoe development, including: 

  • Having high arches, bunions, or flatfoot 
  • Wearing shoes that put strain on the toes
  • Having arthritis
  • Having a neuromuscular disease like CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth) 
  • Having foot trauma

High heels, which put excessive strain on your toes and force them into bent positions, are a common cause of hammertoes.

What are the symptoms of hammertoe?

A hammertoe can be uncomfortable if left untreated. You may have difficulty wearing your shoes, or might develop a corn or callus on top of the affected joint. 

You might also notice a change in the way you walk and may experience other issues in your foot. 

How is hammertoe treated?

Hammertoe treatment typically involves a combination of conservative or minimally invasive strategies to effectively bring your relief. Dr. Larson may recommend:

  • Toe padding 
  • Taping 
  • Custom orthotics 
  • Special toe exercises
  • Oral anti-inflammatory medication
  • Corticosteroid injections (for severe pain)

In many cases, flexible hammertoes often respond well to conservative care. However, with rigid hammertoes, you may need foot surgery. Surgical procedures, such as tendon lengthening or joint fusion, can correct the problems that caused your hammertoe for effective relief of pain and discomfort.

If you need podiatric care for a hammertoe, call the practice of David Larson, DPM, or request an appointment online today.

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