A hammertoe is a deformity where your toe curls down rather than pointing straight ahead, and it usually happens because you’re not wearing the right shoes. At Local Foot Doc, with offices in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, board-certified podiatrist Waldemar Majdanski, DPM, FACFAS, can correct early-stage hammertoes with custom-made orthotics. As needed, Dr. Majdanski and his team correct hammertoes with minimally invasive surgery. For your convenience, there are two offices in Brooklyn and locations in the Queens neighborhoods of Woodhaven, Forest Hills, and Astoria. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone.
Your toes are supposed to point straight ahead. A hammertoe is a toe deformity where your toe instead curls downward at the middle joint, in a way that resembles a hammer. The condition usually affects your middle three toes.
Usually, the underlying cause of hammertoe is your footwear. Your shoes should be roomy enough that your toes can comfortably lie flat. If they’re too tight, narrow, or have pointed ends, you’re at risk of developing foot and toe deformities, including hammertoe.
When you wear shoes that crowd your toes, your toes may get used to being bent and stay in that position even after you take your shoes off. The muscles and connective tissues in your toes become tight and stiff, so you can’t move your toes properly.
Some people are more likely to develop hammertoe if you have:
Hammertoes often accompany other foot conditions, including bunions, corns, and calluses.
Hammertoes may be “flexible” or “rigid.” In their early stages, hammertoes are flexible, meaning they look bent when at rest, but you can still move your toe at the joint. When left untreated, hammertoes become rigid, meaning they’re stuck in a bent position, and you can’t move them.
In addition to changing the look and function of your toe, a hammertoe can cause:
If you have diabetes, a hammertoe can increase your risk of foot ulcers.
Hammertoes are easily treatable with a conservative approach if you catch them early, while you can still bend your toe. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible at Local Foot Doc if your toe appears bent, even if it doesn’t cause any pain.
With treatment, you can prevent the hammertoe from getting worse, leading to complications like chronic foot pain and a permanent bend.Dr. Majdanski may recommend:
If you can’t bend your toe or are in significant pain, you may need minimally invasive surgery to correct your hammertoe. Usually, with early treatment, you can prevent the condition from reaching that point.
Schedule an appointment at Local Foot Doc online or over the phone.