Do I Need Hammertoe Surgery?

hammertoe | Northeastern Foot and ankle | New Jersey Hammertoe is a contracture – a tightening of the joint in any of the smaller toes – that causes it to bend unnaturally. The bending leads to malformation of the toe that can become painful when walking or wearing shoes.


What Causes Hammertoes?

Hammertoe is caused by a muscle imbalance in the foot. It can affect any of the smaller toes or all of them, and the bending can pull the toes down or up. Hammertoe progresses over time, so it might be manageable without any kind of intervention for a length of time before causing interference in your daily activities. Hammertoe can be inherited.

How Do I Know If I Have Hammertoe?

The symptoms of hammertoe that people first notice is normally pain or discomfort, especially when wearing shoes. You may also develop callouses between your toes or get corns. In more serious cases of hammertoe, you may experience cracked skin and open sores.

How Is Hammertoe Treated?

Because hammertoes will not go away on their own, treatment of some kind is usually required to relieve the pain and discomfort. Some methods of treatment focus on alleviating the pain, such as using cushioned pads to minimize the irritation of corns and callouses. Your podiatrist may also recommend changing the kind of shoes you wear. High heels exacerbate hammertoe symptoms and accelerate the condition. Roomy shoes with plenty cushion and support are often recommended. Your doctor may also recommend cortisone shots, orthotics, and medications like ibuprofen.

Hammertoe Surgery

Hammertoe surgery is recommended when the pain, discomfort, and malformation become so severe that it interferes with your mobility and your quality of life. There are three main types of hammertoe surgeries available: tendon transfer, joint resection, and fusion. Each involves different surgical techniques and methods. Most surgeries can be done in your podiatrist’s office. Recovery time will depend on the nature and progression of the hammertoe.

If your current treatment plan is ineffective in providing you with hammertoe relief and you would like to learn more about hammertoe surgery, request an appointment with us today. Our friendly and accommodating staff provides prompt and punctual service and is dedicated to providing high-end, compassionate podiatric care. At Northeastern Foot & Ankle, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Khoury takes the time to carefully listen to and understand your medical and cosmetic concerns, recommending and providing the most appropriate treatment options paired with innovative and emerging technologies to help meet your podiatric needs. Call 973.473.6665 or scroll to the top of the page to request an appointment.