What is a Hammertoe?

What does a hammertoe look like?"Today I want to talk a little bit about what a hammertoe is. A hammertoe is a toe that is not straight but it becomes bent. Here is an example of what a hammertoe looks like.

The toe curls up, there’s a lot of pressure and irritation that you get from shoes, and it causes a corn that can develop on the top of the toes, or redness, swelling, and pain. Not every hammertoe needs surgery. Not every hammertoe is what we call a “rigid hammertoe”, where the toe is like this, and you cannot straighten it out, because the bones are fused in that position.

Some hammertoes are semi-rigid, which means you can straighten them out to a point, but they cannot straighten out any further and still create problems. Some hammertoes, if they’re caught early enough, are still flexible. By that, I mean that you can actually straighten the toe out completely. There are different treatment options for the different stages of hammertoes and the symptoms that you may be developing and have. If there’s pain, swelling, deformity, and you have difficulty wearing shoes and your conservative care that you’ve tried at home is not giving you any relief, give us a call. Come in, and we’ll diagnose the problem and discuss all your treatment options."

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle