Hammer toe is a common foot deformity that affects one or more of the small toes, typically the second, third, or fourth toes. In this condition, the affected toe bends abnormally at the middle joint, resembling a hammer or a claw. The name "hammer toe" stems from the toe's resemblance to a hammerhead. Hammer toe can be flexible or rigid and may be accompanied by other foot conditions such as bunions or corns.
Hammer toes can cause pain that makes standing, walking, running, or engaging in your favorite activities difficult. However, you don't have to resign yourself to sitting on the sidelines. Dr. Alireza Khosroabadi's AMI-HAMMERTOE® procedure can correct this foot deformity and get you back to making the most of each day.
What Is Hammer Toe?
Hammer toe is when the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes have abnormal bending, which can put pressure on the toe(s) when wearing shoes, causing serious problems.
Hammer toes usually start out as mild but get progressively worse over time.
Causes of hammer toe include:
- Muscle or tendon imbalance
- Wearing tight shoes that force the toe into a cramped position
- Trauma to the toe
Symptoms of Hammer Toe
Common symptoms of hammer toes may include:
- Pain or irritation of the injured toe when wearing shoes
- Corns and calluses on the toe, between two toes, or on the ball of the foot
- Inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation
- Contracture of the toe
- In more severe cases, open sores may form
Diagnosing Hammer Toe
Hammer toes are visually apparent, but a foot and ankle doctor will need to study your symptoms and examine your foot. The foot and ankle doctor may try to reproduce your symptoms by manipulating your foot and studying the contractures of the toes. The foot and ankle surgeon may also take X-rays.
Hammer toes usually get worse over time. Once your foot and ankle surgeon has evaluated your hammer toes, a treatment plan can be developed for your needs.
Treatment of Hammer Toe
There are a variety of treatment options for hammer toe, including:
- Padding corns and calluses
- Avoiding shoes with pointed toes, shoes that are too short, or shoes with high heels
- Using a custom orthotic device in your shoe to control the muscle/tendon imbalance
- Corticosteroid injections to ease pain and inflammation.
- Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, to reduce pain and inflammation
- Splints or small straps to realign the bent toe
Surgical Treatment of Hammer Toe
Surgery is sometimes needed when the hammer toe has become more rigid and painful, or when an open sore has developed. In selecting the procedure for your particular case, a foot and ankle surgeon will consider the extent of your problem and recommend the best type of surgery.
Dr. K's AMI-HAMMER TOE® procedure is a cutting-edge surgical technique that treats hammer toe pain without an extended recovery period. Most patients walk independently with the help of crutches and resume regular activities within a few days.
You Don't Have to Live With Painful and Unsightly Hammer Toes!
Using a minimally invasive surgical procedure he developed and perfected, Dr. K can fix your hammer toe and restore your freedom and mobility. Schedule a virtual consultation or an in-person visit in Woodland Hills to learn about AMI-HAMMERTOE® hammer toe surgery with Dr. K.