What is a Hammertoe?

Hammertoe is the term used to describe a bending in the joint of the toe. A hammertoe can occur in one toe or in several toes, with the exception of the big toe. When more than one toe is affected the condition is referred to in the plural, hammertoes. This abnormal bending of the joints can result in unsightly lesions or pain from pressure of the toes when wearing shoes. If you suspect you have a hammertoe consult with Dr. Szpiro to confirm a diagnosis since the condition can get progressively worse over time.

What are the Symptoms of Hammertoes?

Quite often the first symptom of a hammertoe is pain when wearing shoes. You may notice a painful lesion between two or more of your toes or that your toes curl or bend to one side or the other. Other symptoms of hammertoes include pain at the tip of the toe, pain in toenails, or thick lesions on the tops of the toes that may be discolored. In some cases, hammertoes may not be painful at all.

What Causes Hammertoes?

Common causes of hammertoes include wearing high heels or tight fitting shoes that create bunions and push the second toe out of place. People with flat feet often get hammertoes, and in some instances hammertoes may be hereditary.

Treatment for Hammertoes

There are a number of different treatment options for hammertoes. In almost all cases, Boston Common Podiatry will suggest changing your shoe gear and avoiding high-heeled shoes that place pressure on the toes. Other non-invasive measures include the use of padding between the toes and creams to soften the skin. Avoid over the counter acid treatments. Depending on the severity, Dr. Szpiro may debride the lesions. As a last resort, hammertoes can be surgically corrected.