When hammertoe first develops, it’s easy to ignore because it’s not painful. But if it goes untreated, the condition worsens until your only treatment option is surgery. Edward Buro, DPM, Christine Peterson, DPM, and Rosario Saccomanno, DPM at Mayfair Foot Care have extensive experience treating hammertoe in its early and advanced stages. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call the Commack, New York, office.
Hammertoe is a deformity that affects the second, third, or fourth toes. The deformity develops when the tip of the toe bends down at the middle joint, giving the toe the shape of a hammer.
Several problems may initially make the toe bend, but after it stays in that position, an imbalance develops in the muscles and tendons that control the toe’s movement.
Muscles work in pairs, one bending and another straightening the toe. If the toe is forced to stay in a bent position, the muscles tighten, making it hard for the opposite muscle to restore the toe’s normal, straight position.
You may inherit a genetic tendency to form hammertoe, but that doesn’t mean you’ll develop the problem later in life. Trauma, neuromuscular conditions, and inflammatory conditions like arthritis can lead to a bent toe. In most cases, however, hammertoe is caused by wearing shoes that put too much pressure on the toes because they’re too tight or high-heeled.
When hammertoe goes untreated, you’ll experience symptoms such as:
As the condition becomes severe, your shoes may not fit over the bent toe.
When hammertoe first develops, the toe is still flexible. At this stage, your provider at Mayfair Foot Care may successfully treat it using one or more of the following:
If your hammertoe goes untreated, the muscles become increasingly rigid until your toe can’t move. Once it reaches that stage, surgery is your only option.
Hammertoe surgery is done on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic. Some patients may also need sedation to help them relax.
Surgery to repair a hammertoe only takes about 15 minutes. During that time, your physician at Mayfair Foot Care makes four small incisions and rebalances the tendons. You can walk wearing a surgical shoe as soon as your procedure is finished.
Call Mayfair Foot Care or use the online booking feature to schedule treatment for hammertoe.