Hammer Toe Specialist

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Hammer Toe services offered in Elgin, Schaumburg, Huntley and Chicago, IL

Hammertoe may not cause symptoms at first, but over time it can lead to discomfort while wearing shoes and walking. The podiatric specialists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, with offices in Elgin, Schaumburg, Huntley, and the Montclare neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, offer evaluation and treatments for hammertoe so you can maintain long-term foot comfort. Call today to set up an appointment or use this website to book online at the nearest location.

What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe usually affects the middle three toes. It describes an abnormal contracture in the middle joint that makes your toe look bent — much like a hammer. 

Hammertoe doesn’t always lead to pain or problems, but it has the potential to cause severe pain while walking or running. It also can affect your comfort while wearing shoes and standing. 

Don’t confuse hammertoe with mallet toe, which affects the highest joint closest to the toenail.

What are the symptoms of hammertoe?

Your first indication that you have hammertoe is an abnormal bend in one of your middle toe joints. Over time, you may notice pain when you wiggle the affected toes or wear shoes.

You may develop corns and calluses at the top of your toes, where they rub against your shoe.

Hammertoe doesn’t improve on its own and can worsen without treatment. If you notice symptoms, make an appointment at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists. Early intervention can help you avoid serious pain and dysfunction. 

What causes hammertoe?

When the soft tissues that keep your toes aligned become imbalanced, hammertoe results. Regularly wearing tight or narrow shoes can lead to this imbalance. Some people also are genetically more likely to develop hammertoe. 

Other reasons you may develop hammertoe include:

  • Aging
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Trauma, such as a stubbed or broken toe

If you have a longer second toe as compared to your big toe, you’re also at greater risk of developing hammertoe. 

How do you treat hammertoe?

If you address hammertoe when you first notice symptoms, it’s quite treatable. The toes are flexible and respond well to conservative therapies like:

  • Changes in footwear
  • Using foot orthotics
  • Padding for corns and calluses
  • Exercises to stretch and strengthen your foot muscles
  • Splinting or strapping the toe
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain

If you ignore hammertoe, it becomes more rigid and inflexible. Pain sets in, and you may need surgery to correct the problem. Your podiatrist performs one of several procedures, including tendon lengthening, tendon transfer, or joint fusion surgery.

Get the treatment you need for hammertoe. Call Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists today or use this website to schedule online.