Hammertoe Specialist

Sarasota Foot Care Center

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Sarasota, FL

A hammertoe is a progressive foot deformity that affects the flexibility of the joints in your toes. Because of the progressive nature of the condition, podiatrists recommend early medical care. The podiatry team at Sarasota Foot Care Center, with two locations in Sarasota, Florida, offers a full spectrum of care for hammertoe, from conservative padding to cutting-edge surgical treatments. To schedule an evaluation, call the office in Sarasota North or Gulf Gate Sarasota, or request an appointment online today.

Hammertoe Q & A

What is a hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a contracture or bending of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes. This abnormal bending puts pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, which may cause:

  • Pain or irritation to the affected toe when wearing shoes
  • Corns on the top, side, or end of the toe
  • Calluses on the bottom of the toe or ball of the foot

Hammertoes start as mild deformities that progressively worsen over time. During the early stages, the hammertoe is more flexible and responds well to noninvasive treatments. 

However, when left untreated, a hammertoe becomes more rigid and less responsive to non-surgical interventions.

If you have a hammertoe, the team at Sarasota Foot Care Center can provide the care needed to prevent worsening of the deformity.

What causes a hammertoe?

The most common cause of a hammertoe is a muscle and tendon imbalance, which leads to bending in the toe. Over time, the chronic bending results in structural changes in the foot. 

Ill-fitting shoes may aggravate or cause a hammertoe. Trauma to a toe may also cause the deformity. In some cases, the foot deformity is an inherited condition. 

How is a hammertoe diagnosed?

Though the experienced podiatrists at Sarasota Foot Care Center can diagnose a hammertoe during a physical evaluation, they take a holistic approach to care and focus on your whole body health, not just your foot.

During the exam, your podiatrist reviews your symptoms, medical and family history, and performs a physical. To assess the severity of your deformity, your provider conducts in-office digital X-rays. 

They may also perform a gait analysis to assess foot mechanics to assist with the creation of your custom-made orthotics. 

How is a hammertoe treated?

Sarasota Foot Care Center offers a full spectrum of care for hammertoes, from conservative padding and shoe gear changes to cutting-edge surgical options.

The team develops individualized treatment plans based on the severity of your deformity. 

Treatment may include:

  • Trimming corns and calluses
  • Padding corns and calluses
  • Changes in shoewear
  • Orthotic devices
  • Injection therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Splinting or strapping

If your hammertoe is rigid, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to relieve the discomfort caused by your deformity. Surgical treatments for a hammertoe include arthroplasty to remove a small section of bone or arthrodesis to straighten and then fuse the bones. 

Hammertoes don’t improve with time. For early intervention, contact Sarasota Foot Care Center by phone or book an appointment online today.