What Are Hammertoes?

Do you have trouble finding comfortable shoes because one of your toes doesn't lie flat? You may have a hammertoe. Our Scottsdale and SunCity, AZ, podiatrists, Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists, share some information on hammertoes and discuss treatment options.

Do I have a hammertoe?

A hammertoe causes your toe to bend at a right angle. Because your toe looks a little like a hammer if you view it from the side, the condition is referred to as "hammertoe." Hammertoe tends to affect the second through fifth toes. Although you may be able to push your toe back into its normal position at first, it may eventually become rigid if you don't receive treatment for your condition.

What are the symptoms of a hammertoe?

If you have a hammertoe, your may notice that your toe is red, swollen and painful. The pain may increase when you press on the toe or try to jam your foot into a shoe. Corns and calluses are common in people who have a hammertoe. They form when your toe constantly rubs against your shoe.

Why do I have a hammertoe?

Has anyone else in your family ever suffered from hammertoes? In some families, inherited muscle or tendon imbalances can increase the risk of developing the condition. Hammertoes can also develop if you've injured your toe, have arthritis in your foot or wear shoes that are too tight.

How are hammertoes treated?

It's very important to stretch your muscles and tendons to prevent your toe from becoming rigid. When you visit our Sun City or Scottsdale office, we can teach you a series of exercises that will help keep your toe flexible. Switching to shoes that have more room in the toe box is a must if you have hammertoes. Roomy shoes, corn and callus cushions and orthotics will help you remain as comfortable as possible.

If you symptoms don't improve, you may benefit from anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections or surgery.

Hammertoe treatments can help relieve your pain. If you suffer from hammertoes, make an appointment with podiatrists Dr. Stegman and Dr. Erotas of American Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling (623) 977-8388 for the Sun City office or (480) 483-9000 for the Scottsdale office.

American Foot & Ankle Specialists

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