Do I Need Surgery for My Hammertoe?

Do I Need Surgery for My Hammertoe?

Your second, third, or fourth toes have started to buckle, and there are calluses on top of the joints of your toes. These are telltale signs that you have hammertoe. 

Hammertoe occurs when the joints in your toe start to bend upwards, giving the toe the shape of a hammer, which is where this foot deformity gets its name. While your middle three toes are typically the culprits, a curled baby toe is also considered a hammertoe.

When you have hammertoe, you might struggle with symptoms such as blisters, pain in your toe joints, pain when you walk, inflamed skin, and stiffness. 

If you’re currently dealing with a hammertoe, you might be wondering if you need to look into surgery as a treatment option. At Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, our team of board-certified podiatric specialists offers all kinds of treatment for hammertoe. We explore more about what causes hammertoe in the first place and when surgery becomes necessary for them.

How hammertoe develops

Hammertoe forms when there’s an imbalance in the ligaments and muscles of your toe. This causes your joint to buckle and become stuck that way. Your ligaments and muscles can become imbalanced for a myriad of reasons, including:

Wearing shoes that fit poorly can also cause hammertoe, so one of the best things you can do to prevent its development is to invest in proper footwear. You want to look for shoes that have a wide and deep toe box, giving your toes plenty of room. Our team can also provide you with custom orthotics and extra padding for your shoes to decrease your chances of hammertoe.

How we treat hammertoe

When it comes to treating hammertoe, our team always likes to start with conservative methods first rather than immediately jumping to more drastic measures such as surgery. 

Our conservative methods do include custom orthotics, but there are other things we can try. We can tape or splint your toe in order to straighten it out. We can also offer you some anti-inflammatory medications to ease joint pain. And physical therapy is always an option, providing the joint remains flexible.

Surgery is going to be necessary if your hammertoe becomes rigid, causes you severe pain, and isn’t responding to the conservative treatment methods. Our team offers the most current surgical techniques for hammertoe, which uses hammertoe implants. The process of hammertoe implants includes cutting your bone on either end of the deformed joint before inserting a permanent screw that keeps your toe straight.

If you’re struggling with hammertoe, don’t wait to seek treatment because you’re afraid you’ll automatically need surgery. Our team would be happy to review all your options with you before coming up with a treatment plan that works best for you.

To schedule an appointment with our team, give us a call at 719-488-4664, or use our online booking tool today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Can an Ankle Sprain Simply Heal with Rest?

While popular opinion states that sprained ankles can only be left to heal on their own, that can actually lead to complications and prolonged healing. We review why you should seek medical treatment for your sprained ankle here.

How Are Custom Orthotics Made?

If you suffer from chronic foot and ankle pain, you might need custom-made orthotics. Find out more about the process of making custom orthotics here.

Can My Ingrown Toenail Heal on Its Own?

If you struggle with ingrown toenails — a common foot condition — you might be wondering if they’ll go away all on their own, or if you always need to seek treatment for them. We review that and more here.

I Have High Arches. Now What?

If you have high arches, you’re at risk for developing other foot health issues. Read on to learn how to treat any potential complications of high arches and more about this foot condition.

What’s Behind Your Popping Ankles?

Ankle popping is common. But how do you know what’s causing it, and if it’s something you should be worried about? We answer those questions and more here.

Ask These Questions Before You Get Ankle Fusion

Before having any surgical procedure, it’s important that you have all the information you need up front. If you’re having ankle fusion surgery, here are some good questions to ask beforehand.