Hammer Toe

North Star Foot & Ankle Associates

Podiatry located in Garland, TX

Is the joint of one of your toes bending abnormally, leaving you with a toe that curls in on itself instead of extending straight? If so, you’re probably living with hammertoe. But don’t worry. R. Jeffrey Doyle, DPM, or H. Aden Huynh, DPM, at North Star Foot & Ankle Associates, offer diagnosis and treatment for hammertoe. If you think you might have hammertoe, call Garland, Texas, office today or schedule your appointment online.

Hammer Toe Q & A

What is hammertoe?

Your foot has a network of tendons, ligaments, and muscles that work together to extend your toes out straight. This way, your toes can help you thrust forward when you step and balance as you walk or stand. 

But sometimes those ligaments, muscles, and tendons don’t work together the way they should. That’s the case with hammertoe, a condition in which one of your toes (usually your second or third toe) has an abnormality in the middle joint causing it to curl downward.

There are two different kinds of hammertoe: flexible and rigid. Flexible hammertoe is the less advanced stage of hammertoe. People with this type of hammertoe are still able to move their toe joint, albeit usually just a small amount. 

In cases of rigid hammertoe, the tendons in the toe become so stiff that they push the toe joint out of alignment. This makes it impossible for you to move the toe joint without pain. Hammertoe is often painful where your shoe rubs the toe. 

What causes hammertoe?

Hammertoe can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Too-small shoes (especially heels)
  • Shoes with pointed toes
  • An injury, including a severe toe stubbing or a broken toe
  • Toe muscle imbalance
  • High arches
  • Arthritis
  • Pressure caused by a bunion
  • Damage to certain nerves or the spinal cord

How is hammertoe treated?

If you’re living with hammertoe, don’t hesitate to contact North Star Foot & Ankle Associates. Their dedicated team helps you find the right treatment to restore flexibility and normalcy to your toe, minimizing your pain. 

Your first step is to get an X-ray, which is then reviewed by one of the podiatrists to better understand what’s going on with the joints in your affected toe. Then, your North Star Foot & Ankle Associates hammertoe specialist tailors a treatment plan for you. 

Some cases of hammertoe can be treated fairly easily with custom shoe insoles. Other patients benefit from cortisone injections in the toe, increasing the joint’s flexibility and minimizing pain. 

In more severe cases, North Star Foot & Ankle Associates may recommend corrective surgery. This way, you can completely resolve your hammertoe and restore comfort to your entire foot. 

To get the diagnosis and treatment your hammertoe needs, call North Star Foot & Ankle Associates or schedule your appointment online today.