Hammertoe Specialist

Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle

Foot and Ankle Specialists & Podiatrists located in Mission Viejo, CA

Hammertoes require prompt treatment to prevent them from becoming rigid and more difficult to treat. If you have oddly bent toes, don't delay in visiting Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California. The team provides expert nonsurgical treatment for hammertoes and specializes in minimally invasive techniques to correct rigid hammertoes. Call Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle or book an appointment online today.

Hammertoe Q & A

What are hammertoes?

Hammertoes are toes that bend in an unnatural way, so the affected toes form a shape like an upside-down letter “V.”

Hammertoes develop in the first joint of your toe, which is called the proximal interphalangeal joint. Any of your toes could turn into a hammertoe, but the condition is less likely to affect your big toe.

Hammertoes are usually flexible, so it's possible to move the joint with your fingers. Flexible hammertoes are easier to treat than the later stages of the condition when the toes become rigid. Rigid hammertoes lock into place and you can't move them at all. You might develop rigid hammertoes if you don't visit Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle when the toe is still flexible.

You're more likely to develop hammertoes if you have severe arthritis or problems like bunions. Injuries can also affect the tendons in your feet and cause hammertoes.

What are the symptoms of hammertoes?

The abnormal bend or contracture in your toe is a clear sign of hammertoes, but you might also experience:

  • Pain in your toe, especially when wearing shoes
  • Inflammation in your proximal interphalangeal joint
  • Reddened skin on the affected toe
  • Swelling of the affected joint
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Pain in the ball of your foot under the affected toe

You might also develop calluses or corns on the ball of your foot or between your toes if the hammertoes create friction when you wear shoes. Footwear that's too tight and squeezes your toes is likely to aggravate hammertoes and make the problem worse more quickly.

How are hammertoes treated?

Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle might perform X-rays on your feet to assess the extent of the problem. If you have flexible hammertoes, there are several conservative approaches to treating them, such as:

  • Wearing shoes with a spacious toe
  • Wearing medical-grade custom orthotics
  • Padding corns and calluses
  • Splinting or strapping the affected toes
  • Taking NSAIDs

If your hammertoes are rigid or you have open sores on your skin, your provider might discuss surgical options. Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle specializes in performing minimally invasive surgeries to treat problems like hammertoes.

Get prompt help for your hammertoes and avoid the need for surgery by calling Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle or booking an appointment online today.