Podiatrists servicing the Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale and Phoenix, AZ areas

Arizona Foot Health

Podiatrists located in Phoenix, AZ

Hammertoe is an aptly named condition in which your toe begins to bend abnormally at the middle joint, becoming progressively worse until it freezes into the bent position. At Arizona Foot Health, Ryan Golub, DPM, and Zachary Flynn, DPM, AACFAS, help Phoenix-area patients regain straight toes again through several different treatment options. If you’d like to correct your hammertoe, call the office or request an appointment by filling out the online form.

Hammer Toe Q & A

Hammer Toe

What is a hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a result of an imbalance in the soft tissue surrounding your toe, including your tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

Hammertoes usually develop in your second and third toes and cause your toe to bend upward at the middle joint. The condition is progressive, and in its most advanced stages, your toe can become frozen into a hammer-like position, preventing you from straightening it back out.

Hammertoes can also cause painful corns and calluses to form on top of your joint as it comes into increasing contact with your footwear.

What causes hammertoe?

Hammertoes can develop for several reasons, chief among them:

  • High-heeled shoes with pointy toes
  • A natural imbalance in your soft tissue
  • Trauma to your toe

There are also several factors that may put you more at risk of developing hammertoes, including:

  • Sex — women are more prone to the condition
  • Age — the older you get, the more vulnerable you are to hammertoe
  • Toe length — longer second and third toes are more prone to hammertoe
  • Pre-existing diseases — arthritis and diabetes

If you develop a hammertoe, it’s important that you seek help at Arizona Foot Health as quickly as possible to prevent the condition from progressing and creating secondary problems, such as corns and calluses.

How is hammertoe treated?

During your visit with Dr. Golub, he assesses the extent of your hammertoe and comes up with a treatment plan that may include one or more of the following:

  • Changes in footwear
  • Custom orthotics
  • Stretching exercises

If you’ve developed corns and calluses, Dr. Golub also addresses those so that you can comfortably wear shoes again. And speaking of shoes, while it may not be to your fashion liking, avoiding pointy heels goes a long way toward preventing hammertoes or keeping a developing hammertoe from progressing any further.

If your hammertoe has progressed to the point where you’re unable to straighten your toe, even when you push on it, Dr. Golub may recommend a surgical procedure to release the tendon that’s pulling on the joint.

If you’d like to put an end to your hammertoe, call Arizona Foot Health or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.