Hammertoes...What Are They?
By Brian K. Doerr, DPM, PA
December 21, 2017
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Hammertoes  

Do you need podiatric help from your Fort Myers, FL podiatrist?hammertoes

What is a Hammer Toe?

A hammer toe is when a toe is bent at the first joint of the digit, causing the toe to look like an upside-down V. The condition usually affects the second, third, fourth and/or fifth toes, and are more common in females than males. There are two different types: flexible hammertoes, which are movable at the joint, and rigid hammer toes, which is when the tendons become tight.


An abnormal balance of the muscles in the toes develops in hammertoes, causing pressures on the tendons and joints. What are some other causes:

  • Heredity
  • Trauma
  • Arthritis
  • Wearing tight shoes


Here are some symptoms you may suffer from:

  • Pain due to pressure from footwear on hammertoe
  • Formation of corns on the joint
  • Redness and swelling
  • Restricted motion of the toe joint
  • Pain in the ball of the foot


Your Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist advises the following:

  • Place a non-medicated hammertoe pad around the hammertoe to decrease pressure on the area
  • Apply ice packs several times a day to help reduce pain and swelling
  • Avoid heels more than two inches tall
  • Wear loose-fitted shoes
  • Avoid narrow shoes
  • Padding and taping
  • Medication
  • Orthotic devices
  • Surgical options


There are several things your podiatrist will suggest to do to help prevent hammertoes from forming or progressing:

  • Hammertoes may be related to a hereditary problem in your foot mechanics, so wear supportive shoes to help prevent deformities.
  • Orthotics may slow the progression or prevent the development of hammertoes.
  • Avoid shoes with pointed toe boxes that may compress the toes

If you have any questions or concerns, call your Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist today! Don't let pain persist and see Dr. Brian Doerr, because allowing an untreated hammertoe to persist may prevent non-surgical treatment options.