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Hammer Toes

What exactly is a Hammer Toe? And why is it called that?

A hammer toe is a deformity of your second, third or fourth toes. The toe is typically bent at the middle joint so it resembles a hammer.

What causes a Hammer Toe?

Hammer toes are created when the two main tendons that extend the toe upwards and flex it downwards become imbalanced.

What are common symptoms?

Your symptoms are determined by your choice of shoes, structural issues, and how long the problem has existed. Initially, simple treatment may correct your hammer toe while it is still flexible; however, over time, if left untreated your toe can become fixed and may require surgery.

Common symptoms include:

How is Hammer Toe diagnosed?

Your diagnosis will be based on a physical exam by a Summit foot specialist and possible x-rays.

What are my treatment options?

Summit specialists practice a conservative approach to treatment which means they first explore successful non-surgical options to get you back on your feet before considering surgery. Treatment options include:

NOTE: If you have diabetes, poor circulation, or a lack of feeling in your feet, talk to your Summit care physician before attempting any self treatment.

What if I need surgery? What can I expect?
Surgery can be effective in correcting Hammer Toe if non-surgical treatments fail. Typically Hammer Toe surgery is done on an outpatient basis with a local anesthetic. After your surgery, you may notice some stiffness, swelling and redness, and your toe may be slightly longer or shorter than before. You will be asked to keep your foot elevated as much as possible.