Hammer toes are contractions of the toe joints that causes a permanently bent or flexed position in the toe. This deformity often causes pain when wearing closed toe shoes when the bent toe begins to rub against the top of the shoe. The friction can cause a corn to develop.
Several different things can cause hammer toes:
Dr. Cunha at Gotham Footcare starts by correcting faulty foot mechanics that cause the hammertoe to develop. The emphasis is also on relieving painful symptoms through anti-inflammatory medications and through relieving the pressure caused from the shoe. Early treatment focuses on conservative methods such as converting from a pointed-toe low toe box shoe to wider, high toe box shoes can alleviate the pressure.
Other non-surgical treatment options include:
Surgery can become necessary if conservative measures fail to control the symptoms. Hammer toe surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, under monitored IV anesthesia. A variety of factors will determine the specific type of surgery necessary. These factors include the patient's age, weight, bone quality, and severity of deformity. The main goal of hammer toe surgery is to relieve the pain associated with the deformity. There are many surgical procedures to correct deformities from hammer toes, and the surgeons at Gotham Footcare are exceptionally trained to ensure that the selection criteria are thoroughly evaluated. A typical surgery aims to remove the hammertoe, to realign the bones that make up the toe, and to balance the forces so the deformity does not return. As always, care post-surgery is very important, and at Gotham Footcare we are equally focused on helping with a speedy recovery. Many hammer toe surgeries require three to four weeks in a post-operative boot or shoe.