Hammer Toes

Claw Toes/Hammer Toes, form because of a muscle imbalance. It is not uncommon for calluses to form at the tip of the toes and bottom of the foot with this condition. Initially, the toe will be flexible and you will be able to straighten it. Over time it may become a permanent, rigid deformity. It is important to treat the toes while they are still flexible.

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CAUSE

Claw toes/hammer toes develop from muscle imbalance and biomechanical instability. They can become worse with ill-fitting footwear.

TREATMENT

The chiropodist will address your foot comprehensively by looking at the symptoms like the painful corns/calluses that form on the top of the hammer toes, and the underlying biomechanical cause. Debridement of corns/callus, high toebox shoes, silicone products, custom orthotics, and/or soft-tissue surgery may be recommended.  

MORE ABOUT HAMMER TOE SURGERY (EXTENSOR/FLEXOR TENOTOMY)

We will often recommend claw toe/hammer toe surgery for patients who have a flexible deformity. The procedure is safe, minimally invasive and has a very good success rate.

The procedure involves first injecting a local anesthetic into the area surrounding the toe(s), cutting the tendon(s) of the affected toe(s), and then closing the incision. The procedure itself takes about 30 minutes to perform. The chiropodist uses a local anesthetic to numb the area, and does not proceed until completely sure that the area around the toe is numb. You should not feel anything during the procedure itself. The only pain that you would feel would be during the initial anesthetic injection. Keep in mind that we use a very small needle to minimize any pain during the injection.

Most patients heal completely in about 4 weeks, but this is different for everyone. The chiropodist will bring you back a few days after the procedure to check on your foot and clean up the area, and then as needed to ensure that you are healing well.

We recommend that you take it easy for the first week, but it doesn't prevent you from doing most everyday activities. Most patients are able to return to work the next day.

There is a small chance they may recur, but if the underlying muscle imbalance and biomechanical instability is addressed, it should not return. The chiropodist will discuss this during your initial consultation so you understand and be comfortable with the procedure.

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