Wednesday, 27 December 2023 20:13

Treatment of Hammertoe

hammerChoosing how to treat a hammertoe, which is a foot deformity, depends on whether the toe can still move and is flexible, or is stiff and fixed. The severity of the deformity also plays a role in deciding whether to opt for surgery. Surgery is considered when there is disabling pain that does not improve with non-surgical options, like taping for a flexible hammertoe, or wearing special shoes for a fixed hammertoe. For flexible hammertoes, soft-tissue procedures are used, while rigid ones might need surgery involving the bones. Different surgical techniques are employed based on whether the deformity is flexible, fixed, or involves a rotated toe. In some cases, shortening the metatarsal bone, which is part of the middle foot, is necessary. If you have a hammertoe that is causing pain and discomfort, it is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an examination and discussion of treatment options that may benefit you.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Theresa Brown, DPM of Essie M.B. Smith Foot ClinicOur doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.


Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.


  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe


If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Montgomery, AL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

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