Hammertoe Specialist

Midwest Foot and Ankle Clinics

Podiatry located in Hoffman Estates, Arlington Heights, and Chicago, IL

Permanently bent toes aren’t a natural physical feature. Hammertoe is a condition that worsens over time, often to the point that you can’t move your toes anymore. At Midwest Foot and Ankle Clinics in Hoffman Estates, Arlington Heights, and the Norwood Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, podiatrists Khalid Husain, DPM, Gene Choi, DPM, Jennifer Kirchens, DPM, and Christina Sarantopoulos, DPM, treat hammertoe of all levels with surgical and nonsurgical options. Book your consultation for expert hammertoe treatment by phone or online today.

Hammertoe Q & A

What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a common deformity affecting the smaller toes on your feet. It causes your toes to be permanently folded or bent because of imbalances with the positioning of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in your toes. 

At first, hammertoe doesn’t cause any symptoms. However, it gets worse over time and starts to cause pain and other complications. Common symptoms of hammertoe are:

  • Toe pain
  • Calluses and corns
  • Open sores
  • Inflammation
  • Stiffness

Even if your hammertoe doesn’t have any symptoms, treatment can be beneficial to help strengthen the muscles in your toes and prevent surgery in the future.

How does hammertoe develop?

Hammertoe arises from an imbalance in the tendons and muscles, especially in the middle joints of your toes. There are many avoidable factors that lead to the deformity’s development. You’re likely to develop hammertoe in one or more of your toes if you:

  • Wear high heels
  • Wear shoes that are too tight
  • Have a second or middle toe that is longer than your big toe
  • Have a toe injury
  • Have arthritis
  • Have diabetes

Hammertoe may also be genetic because it tends to appear in more than one person in the same family. Because of their shoe style preferences, women are more likely than men to develop hammertoe.

How is hammertoe treated?

The team at Midwest Foot and Ankle Clinics uses both surgical and nonsurgical techniques to treat hammertoe and relieve symptoms. Your course of treatment depends on the severity of your condition. 

For mild hammertoe, nonsurgical treatment options usually suffice. The team at Midwest Foot and Ankle Clinics may recommend using home exercises like picking up marbles with your toes or manually stretching them to restore their flexibility. You can also use medications or custom orthotics to ease pain and inflammation.

Hammertoe surgery may be necessary if your hammertoes are rigid. During your surgery, the team manipulates your tendons and may remove some bone to straighten your toes back into their original position.  

Without treatment, hammertoe becomes more than just a mild inconvenience or unattractive feature. To strengthen and straighten your toes with expert hammertoe treatments, call Midwest Foot and Ankle Clinics or book an appointment online today.