What are hammertoes? Do I have them?
By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
August 06, 2015
Tags: hammertoes  

Hammertoes are a relatively common foot condition affecting millions of Americans. Some people think it is just a cosmetic issue, but it is a problem that affects the bone structure of the feet. Some patients may even joke about hammertoes, but when you consider the Hammertoes potential ramifications of allowing it to progress, it's no laughing matter. Learn how to diagnose hammertoes, and how they can be treated at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Boise.

What Are Hammertoes?
Hammertoes are a foot condition that causes a change in the positioning of the toes. The toes bend over into an almost 90-degree angle (called a contracture), causing the tops of the toes to stick up farther than they should. When this happens, it becomes extremely uncomfortable to wear normal shoes. Hammertoes are almost always accompanied by corns and calluses on the toes.

Do You Have Them?
Hammertoes are very noticeable and easy for your Boise foot doctor to diagnose. The first indication that you may have them is if your toes curve downward, and you have a hard time moving them back into their natural position. Other symptoms:

  • pain or friction when you try to put on shoes
  • inflammation and burning
  • unsightly calluses forming 
  • open sores forming on toes

Hammertoes progress over time, which is why it’s important to have them treated at the first sign.

Fixing Hammertoes
There are treatments available to fix hammertoes and return your feet to normal. Since wearing tight shoes for long periods of time is almost always the cause of hammertoes, the first remedy is to get better shoes and orthotics to protect the feet. Toe pads can help reduce the appearance of calluses and corns. If there’s intense pain, corticosteroid injections may help. Your podiatrist can also splint the toes to help them move back into a straight position. In rare cases, surgery is recommended. 

Schedule a Foot Examination Today
The sooner you have hammertoes treated by a qualified podiatrist at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates, the better for your overall foot health. Call the Boise office at 208-327-0627 today to arrange an exam at a time that’s convenient to your busy schedule.