Hammertoe Specialist

Associated Podiatrists, P.C.

Podiatrists & Podiatric Surgeons located in Novi, MI

Hammertoe can impact the way you walk and do a number on your posture. The experts at Associated Podiatrists, P.C. in Novi, Michigan are highly experienced in addressing hammertoe and take the time to provide you with individualized, effective treatment. From custom orthotics to medications and surgery, the compassionate specialists at Associated Podiatrists, P.C. help their patients lead healthy, ambulatory lives. Book online or call the office for the highest standard of podiatric care.

Hammertoe Q & A

Associated Podiatrists, P.C.

What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe occurs when the second, third, or fourth toe becomes deformed and bent or curved at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. A hammertoe can become immobile if left untreated.

Hammertoe increases your risks of developing calluses or corns since your distorted toe can prevent your shoes from fitting properly. Hammertoe can become painful and impair your gait and posture.

What causes hammertoe?

Hammertoe is more common among women and older adults, but a number of factors can cause or contribute to the development of hammertoe, including:

  • A trauma or injury that breaks or fractures your toe
  • A second toe that’s longer than your big toe
  • High-heeled shoes or tight-fitting footwear that compresses your toes
  • An abnormal balance of the toe muscles that causes muscle constriction and instability
  • Genetic abnormalities in your natural foot structure.

Certain health conditions can also increase your risk for hammertoe, including diabetes, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases.

How is hammertoe treated?

Your podiatrist diagnoses hammertoe through a thorough physical examination and X-rays or other imaging tests. If you do have a hammertoe that affects your gait, posture, or comfort, they may recommend:

  • Rehabilitative calf-stretching exercises to strengthen the toe muscles and decrease inflammation
  • Functional and custom orthotics, such as hammertoe pads, open-toed shoes, in-soles, and other specialized foot related products to enhance comfort
  • Surgery to correct bone structure and restricted tendons

It helps to choose comfortable shoes and make sure you get plenty of rest. Depending on the type of hammertoe, your podiatrist might release the tendon that’s inhibiting your toe from lying flat during a quick in-office procedure involving a single stitch, an adhesive bandage, and no downtime.

Surgery for hammertoe is typically performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure in a hospital or, in some cases, in the office, where your podiatrist makes a small incision on the top of your joint and removes any excess bone from your toe.

While surgery is often the last resort, the doctors at Associated Podiatrists, P.C. are all expert foot surgeons with operating privileges at several local hospitals.

The healing and recovery period for a hammertoe surgery varies, but in most cases, the sutures remain in place for about 14 days and you'll typically need to wear a bandage and surgical shoe during this time. After two weeks, you should be able to wear a stiff-soled walking shoe.

If hammertoes are affecting your comfort or your ability to enjoy the activities you love, call Associated Podiatrists, P.C. or book an appointment online today.