Need an Appointment Immediately? Call (801) 505-5277 or Click Here

Skip to main content

Hammer Toe

Advanced Foot & Ankle Center -  - Podiatry

Advanced Foot & Ankle Center

Podiatry & Diabetic Wound Care Specialists located across Utah

If you have an abnormal bend in one of your middle toes, don’t wait to seek treatment. Without intervention, the joint might lock in that position. At Advanced Foot & Ankle Center, the experienced podiatrists specialize in the treatment of hammertoe. To make an appointment at the practice in Salt Lake City, West Jordan, Park City, Heber City, Bountiful, Provo, St. George, and South Ogden, Utah, call the nearest office or click the online booking feature today.

Hammer Toe Q & A

What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a condition that describes when a toe remains bent in a curved or hammerhead-like position. It occurs as a result of an imbalance between the soft tissues that hold your toe straight. 

Your second, third, and fourth toes are the most likely to experience the condition. If you develop hammertoe and it’s painful or stiff, contact Advanced Foot & Ankle Center right away. 

What are the symptoms of hammertoe?

Symptoms of hammertoe include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Inability to straighten the affected toe
  • Corns, calluses, or blisters 

As the condition gets worse, you might also experience difficulty walking or standing. 

Who is at risk of hammertoe?

Anyone can experience hammertoe, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Being middle-aged or older
  • Being a woman
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes

You’re also more likely to experience hammertoe if your second toe is longer than average.

How is hammertoe diagnosed?

To diagnose hammertoe, your Advanced Foot & Ankle Center provider reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms, including when they first started and if certain types of footwear make them worse. 

Next, your provider examines your toes. Then, they take X-rays to assess the alignment of the bones and joints at the front of your feet. 

If you have diabetes, they might also test for neuropathy (nerve damage), as it can affect the balance of the ligaments and tendons that hold your toe straight.

How is hammertoe treated?

Treatment of hammertoe depends on various factors, including your age, health history, and the severity of your symptoms. Advanced Foot & Ankle Center recommends conservative treatments whenever possible, like wearing roomy, comfortable shoes or buying heel pads or insoles.

Your provider might also recommend stretches or strengthening exercises to encourage proper alignment of the muscles and ligaments in your toe. If you’re unable to move the affected toe, surgery might be necessary, but only as a last resort.

During surgery, your provider uses special tools to release the tendon holding your toe in a bent position. They might also remove a piece of bone. 

To learn more about the treatment options for hammertoe, make an appointment at Advanced Foot & Ankle Center by calling the nearest office or clicking the online booking feature today.