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David F. Corcoran, DPM -  - Podiatrist

Acclaim Foot and Ankle Center

David F. Corcoran, DPM

Podiatrist located in Phoenix, AZ & Scottsdale, AZ

Does your toe bend abnormally in the middle? Hammertoes can develop when you have a deformity in the muscles or tendons that normally keep your toes straight. To have your foot assessed by an expert, visit Acclaim Foot & Ankle Center. Podiatrist Dr. David F. Corcoran, DPM, treats hammertoes and other foot and ankle problems with straightforward, effective care. To begin a personalized treatment plan, call the office or schedule your first appointment online.

Hammertoe Q & A

What are hammertoes?

When there is a problem with the tendons, muscles, and ligaments that normally allow your toe to straighten, hammertoes can develop. This condition causes an abnormal bend in the middle of one or more of your toes, so the toe takes on a hammer shape.

Mallet toe is similar to hammertoe, except it affects the joint nearest the toenail, instead of the middle of the toe.

Hammertoe and mallet toe usually affect the second, third, and fourth toes. While the condition isn’t always serious, left untreated it can cause your toe to stay permanently bent. Hammertoe might also cause or contribute to corns or calluses.

What causes hammertoes?

Hammertoes can develop for a number of reasons, which may include:

  • Ill-fitting shoes: like high heels, tight shoes, or shoes that don’t allow your foot to stay flat
  • Injury: trauma like a stub, break, or jam to the toe
  • Toe length: if your second toe is longer than your big toe

A hammertoe can also develop if you have abnormal balance in your toe muscles, which causes contraction in the toe.

Women are more likely to develop hammertoes than men, and the risk of the condition increases with age. Arthritis and diabetes might also increase your risk for hammertoes.

What are the symptoms of hammertoes?

If you have a hammertoe, the toe will have an abnormal bend in the middle. It may be difficult to move the toe normally or get it to stay in a straightened position. As a result of hammertoes, corns and calluses can develop, which may cause more pain and friction.

How are hammertoes treated?

Treatment for hammertoes might include a variety of methods. There are some options that are minimally invasive, such as wearing more comfortable footwear, orthotics, or toe exercises. With the right treatment, a hammertoe is often reducible.

In cases where the hammertoe is severe, Dr. Corcoran might recommend surgery. A tenotomy, which involves the surgical cutting of a tendon, can help to straighten the toe. In other cases, Dr. Corcoran might need to remove bone from the foot to help fix hammertoes.

If your symptoms are interfering with your ability to walk, move your foot, or perform daily activities, contact Acclaim Foot & Ankle Center today. Call to schedule a consultation or book one online using the easy scheduler.