Hammer Toe

Premier Foot & Ankle Center

Jade Gittens, D.P.M.

Podiatrist & Podiatric Surgeon located in Somerset, NJ

Having a hammertoe can become so painful and inflamed, it can be difficult to find comfortable shoes. As an expert in modern hammertoe treatment, board-certified podiatrist Jade Gittens, DPM, of Premier Foot & Ankle Center offers plenty of effective hammertoe solutions. Before living another day with hammertoe pain, schedule an evaluation at this Somerset, New Jersey, practice. Either click on the online scheduling feature or call the office to book.

Hammer Toe Q & A

Why do I have hammertoes?

Hammertoes are deformities of your small toes where the affected toes are bent at the middle joint. While inherited foot shape and family history can certainly contribute to having hammertoes, you can also develop them due to poorly fitting footwear.

If you regularly wear high heels or pointy shoes, for instance, your toes regularly get scrunched together and stuck in an unnatural position. When this happens on a daily basis, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that generally hold your toe straight, instead become imbalanced. Your toe actually gets stuck in one position.

You’re also more likely to develop hammertoes if you’ve had previous foot trauma, or if you have a chronic inflammatory condition, like rheumatoid arthritis. While any of your toes can become a hammertoe, this condition most commonly affects your second toe, especially if it’s longer than your big toe.

What are the symptoms of hammertoes?

The biggest complaint Dr. Gittens hears about hammertoes is the severe pain caused by corns and calluses that form as your hammertoes abnormally rub against the insides of your shoes. You may even experience joint pain in the affected toes and decreased range of motion.

Hammertoes may not bother you much initially while they’re still flexible. But as those tendons contract and tighten, your toe stays permanently bent and rigid in that position. In either case, before your hammertoes cause pain, make sure you get started on a custom treatment plan.

How are hammertoes treated?

Treating a hammertoe depends on whether your toe is still flexible, as well as the severity of your symptoms. If your hammertoe is flexible, your tight and inflamed soft tissues may eventually relax by switching to shoes with more wiggle room in the toes. Getting fitted for custom orthotics at Premier Foot & Ankle Center can further help support your affected toes, although you may also need:

  • Physical therapy
  • Daily stretches or exercises
  • Padding, strapping, or taping

If you’re still not getting relief or if your hammertoe pain is becoming unbearable, it’s time to consider surgery with Dr. Gittens. Hammertoe surgery involves releasing the affected tendon or ligament, removing damaged tissues, or correcting your joint — sometimes a combination of these resolutions.

You can get effective relief from hammertoe discomfort at Premier Foot & Ankle Center. Book your evaluation by requesting an appointment online, or by calling the clinic.