Hammertoes Specialist

Birch Tree Foot and Ankle -  - Foot and Ankle Specialist

Birch Tree Foot and Ankle

Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Traverse City, MI & Manistee, MI

If you have arthritis or regularly wear tight shoes, you’re also more likely to experience hammertoes. Though common, this painful abnormality can affect your mobility and quality of life. At Birch Tree Foot and Ankle, fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon Jeffrey Weber, DPM, provides comprehensive care for hammertoes. Using safe, effective treatments, he can minimize your symptoms. To make an appointment at the practice in Traverse City or Manistee, Michigan, call the nearest office or click the online booking tool today.

Hammertoes Q&A

What are hammertoes?

Hammertoes are a foot abnormality that causes one or more of your toes to bend in a curled, hammerhead-like position. Some people are born with hammertoes; others develop the condition due to health problems like arthritis or as a result of wearing tight shoes that crowd the toes together. 

Regardless of the underlying cause, with early diagnosis, it’s possible to treat hammertoe. Healthy lifestyle changes and supportive footwear can ease uncomfortable symptoms and prevent the need for surgery.

What are the symptoms of hammertoes?

Common symptoms of hammertoes include:

  • A toe that bends downward
  • Claw-like toes
  • Corns and calluses
  • Difficulty walking

As the condition worsens, you might also experience difficulty bending or extending your affected toe.

What causes hammertoes?

Hammertoes affect people of all ages and occur for various reasons. Some of the most common causes of hammertoes include having a family history of the condition, wearing tight shoes that crowd your toes, and experiencing issues like calluses, bunions, or corns. You might also develop hammertoe if you participate in high-impact sports like ballet or rock climbing.

Is there any way to prevent hammertoes?

The easiest way to reduce the risk of hammertoes is to wear comfortable, supportive shoes with a wide toe box. If you’re unable to wiggle your toes inside of your shoes, they’re too tight.

If you frequently wear stilettos or other fancy shoes, Dr. Weber recommends a pair with heels that are two inches high or less. The lower the heels, the less pressure on your toes.

How are hammertoes diagnosed?

To diagnose hammertoes, Dr. Weber conducts an exam and asks about your symptoms, including when they started, their severity, and if any activities like exercise make them worse. 

Afterward, he orders X-rays to assess the condition of the bones and joints in your feet. Then, he designs a custom treatment plan that aligns with your needs.

How are hammertoes treated?

Treatment of hammertoes depends on the severity of your symptoms and their impact on your daily life. For mild or moderate hammertoes, Dr. Weber recommends:

  • Ice
  • Rest
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Toe pads or other inserts
  • Wearing shoes with a large toe box

If you have a severe hammertoe, and you’re no longer able to bend or flex the joint, surgical intervention may be necessary. During hammertoe surgery, Dr. Weber removes the deformed or damaged bone and realigns your tendons and joints.

To receive treatment for hammertoes, make an appointment at Birch Tree Foot and Ankle by calling the nearest office or clicking the online booking tool today.