Hammertoe Specialist

Range Foot & Ankle

Katie Evans, DPM

Podiatry & Foot and Ankle Specialist located in Virginia, MN & Ely, MN

If one or more of your middle toes stays bent, even when you try to extend it, you might have a hammertoe. Left untreated, this condition will only get worse. At Range Foot & Ankle in Virginia and Two Harbors, Minnesota, Katie Evans, DPM, offers both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for hammertoe. To request your consultation, call the office nearest you or click the online booking tool today.

Hammertoe Q & A

What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a common podiatric deformity that causes one or more of your small toes to stay bent in a hammerhead-like shape. The condition occurs due to an imbalance of the muscles, ligaments, or tendons in your toes, and prevents you from holding your affected toe straight. 

What are the symptoms of hammertoe?

The most obvious symptom associated with hammertoe is an abnormal bend in your middle toe joint. As the problem gets worse, you may also have trouble straightening your toe or putting pressure on your toe without experiencing pain. You might also develop corns or calluses on the top of your affected toe. 

Who is at risk of developing hammertoe?

Hammertoe affects people of all sexes and backgrounds. However, there are certain factors that may increase your risk, including: 

  • Being a woman
  • Being middle-aged or older
  • Having diabetes
  • Having arthritis
  • Genetics

You’re also more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe. 

Can hammertoe be prevented?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent hammertoe entirely. However, there are steps you can take to significantly lower your risk, including wearing shoes with a roomy toe box, avoiding high heels, and wearing shoes with laces or straps; adjustable shoes may ease pressure and give your toes more room to wiggle. 

 How is hammertoe diagnosed?

To diagnose hammertoe, Dr. Evans physically examines your foot and toes. She also reviews your medical history and asks you about the symptoms you’re experiencing. If necessary, she might also order a series of X-rays to get a closer look at the bones and underlying structures in your feet. 

What’s the treatment for hammertoe?

Hammertoes don’t heal on their own, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Most of the time, Dr. Evans recommends conservative measures of care such as changing footwear, taking anti-inflammatory medications, or splinting the affected toe. However, if the problem persists or gets worse, surgical intervention may be necessary. During hammertoe surgery, Dr. Evans carefully releases the tendon preventing your toe from lying flat. 

To learn more about your treatment options for hammertoe, make an appointment at Range Foot & Ankle. Call the office nearest you or click the online booking tool today.