Hammertoe

graphic of what a Hammer, Claw and Mallet tow look like

Our podiatrists and surgeons at Dr. Seth J. Steber’s surgical clinic offer expert diagnosis and care for patients with hammertoe, a contractual deformity of the middle joints in the toes, causing the ends of the toes to point downward. Hammertoe most often affects the second toe, but can also occur in the third, fourth, and fifth toes. It develops because the muscles in the toes will contract too tightly, causing the bones to shift into a bent position. Though anyone can develop hammertoe, it more often occurs in women who have a second toe longer than their big toe. This bent position over time will cause the muscles and tendons to become inflexible, preventing the toes from straightening. Those with hammertoe may develop painful blisters, calluses, and corns from wearing shoes, and over time, can cause the bones throughout the foot to shift and pinch nerves.

Our specialists understand that having hammertoe can interfere with many aspects of your life, including walking and exercising comfortably. We will customize a foot and ankle treatment plan based on the severity of the changes in the structure of your foot, and help you manage pain through our various treatment plans:

  • Nonsurgical Treatments – Many times, hammertoe can be managed through nonsurgical means. Choosing shoes with a wider size range and a deeper toe box can help prevent the corns and callouses that develop. We will also recommend strengthening exercises and wearable devices to maintain flexibility during sleep and sitting for long periods, such as splints, orthotic devices, and medicated pads. If you’re curious about what other nonsurgical treatments we provide, then contact us today to schedule an appointment with us!
  • Surgical Treatments – The most common form of reconstructive surgery for hammertoe is a proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint fusion, where the toe is straightened and stabilized by fusing the bones together. We focus on using rods and screws as the permanent structure to the bone, allowing your toes to maintain a stable position even if the foot gets injured later on. Our rate of complications remains very low, and our procedures offer an 80% to 90% success rate. At most, with the procedure, you’ll experience discomfort. Post-procedure recommendations include wearing a post-surgical support shoe for four to six weeks, and we’ll schedule a follow-up appointment with you to check in on your progress.

Contact us today!

At Dr. Steber’s office, we understand what causes foot pain and know how to treat it. If you’re experiencing hammertoe that’s causing significant discomfort, our surgeons will recommend the right procedures to take to relieve your pain and make walking easier. Dr. Steber has over 20 years of experience helping patients handle their foot and ankle pain, and holds key interests in reconstructive surgery and wound care. To schedule a podiatric appointment with us, fill out our contact us form or call us at 570-657-6851. We will be glad to help you through any pain you feel and make you feel right at home.

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