Hammertoe Treatment Options

Aug 9, 2023

Hammertoes can be a painful and bothersome foot condition that affects many individuals. If you are experiencing discomfort in one of your middle toes due to a bending deformity, you may have hammertoes. At Comprehensive Foot Centers, we recognize the impact that hammertoes can have on your daily life, and we are dedicated to providing effective treatment options to help you find relief and regain comfort. Let’s explore what hammertoes are, the available treatment options, and how making an appointment with us can help determine the best course of treatment for you.

What are Hammertoes?

Hammertoes are a common foot deformity characterized by an abnormal bending of one of the middle toes. This condition typically occurs in the second, third, or fourth toe and can be caused by various factors, including genetics, footwear choices, or an imbalance in foot structure. As the name suggests, the bent toe resembles a hammer, which is why it is referred to as “hammertoe.”

hammer toes on floor

There are two main types of hammertoes:

1. Flexible Hammertoes:

 In this type, the affected toe can still be manually straightened with the fingers. Flexible hammertoes are usually at an early stage and may respond well to conservative treatments.

2. Rigid Hammertoes:

 In this type, the toe becomes fixed in a bent position and cannot be straightened manually. Rigid hammertoes are more advanced and may require more aggressive treatment options, such as surgery.

Hammertoes can vary in severity, ranging from mild cases where the toe is still flexible to more severe cases where the toe becomes rigid and difficult to move. Common symptoms include pain, redness, swelling, and the development of corns or calluses due to friction against shoes.

What are your treatment options for Hammertoes?

At Comprehensive Foot Centers, we offer a range of treatment options to address hammertoes effectively. The chosen approach will depend on the severity of your condition and individual factors. Some of the treatment options include:

Non-Surgical Treatment Options:

1. Anti-inflammatory Drugs:

For mild to moderate cases of hammertoes, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. These medications can help manage discomfort and make it easier to perform daily activities. NSAIDs work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause pain and inflammation in the body.

2. Over-the-Counter Products:

Non-medicated pads or cushions can be used to relieve pressure on the affected toe and reduce friction, providing relief from pain and discomfort. Additionally, toe splints or crests may be recommended to help straighten and align the bent toe. These devices are often made of soft materials and can be easily inserted into shoes to alleviate pressure on the hammertoe.

3. Custom Orthotics:

Custom orthotics are specialized shoe inserts designed to provide support and realign the foot structure. By redistributing pressure and correcting imbalances, custom orthotics can help alleviate the symptoms of hammertoes and prevent them from worsening. Our podiatrists will perform a detailed examination of your feet and gait to create custom orthotics tailored to your specific needs.

4. Changes in Footwear:

Wearing proper footwear is crucial in managing hammertoes. Avoid shoes with narrow-toe boxes or high heels that can squeeze and exacerbate the condition. Opt for shoes with a roomy toe area that allows your toes to move freely. The right footwear can reduce pressure on the toes and help alleviate pain and discomfort.


In more severe cases of hammertoes where conservative treatments have not provided sufficient relief, surgery may be considered. Surgery is usually recommended when hammertoes cause severe pain, affect more than one toe, or have become rigid and immovable.

The main goals of hammertoe surgery are to realign the affected toe, relieve pain, and restore functionality. There are several surgical techniques available, and our experienced podiatrists will determine the most suitable procedure based on the specific characteristics of your hammertoes.

hammer toes on blanket

New Minimally Invasive Procedures Offered:

Thanks to advancements in medical technology, new minimally invasive procedures are now available for hammertoe surgery. These procedures involve smaller incisions, which means less disruption to surrounding tissues and faster healing times compared to traditional surgery.

One such minimally invasive procedure is the use of percutaneous or pinless surgery. In this technique, the podiatrist uses tiny instruments to make small incisions and realign the toe without the need for pins or wires. The procedure is less invasive, resulting in shorter recovery times and reduced risk of complications.

Make an appointment to figure out the best form of treatment for you:

If you suspect you may have hammertoes or are experiencing discomfort in your toes, it is essential to seek professional evaluation and treatment. Our experienced podiatrists at Comprehensive Foot Centers will conduct a thorough examination of your feet, including a detailed medical history review, to accurately diagnose hammertoes and determine the most suitable treatment approach.

Each patient’s condition is unique, and our treatment plans are tailored to address your specific needs and lifestyle. Whether you require non-surgical interventions like anti-inflammatory drugs, over-the-counter products, custom orthotics, or minimally invasive surgical procedures, our team is committed to providing compassionate care and helping you find relief from the pain and discomfort associated with hammertoes.

Hammertoes can significantly impact your quality of life, but effective treatment options are available to provide relief and restore comfort. At Comprehensive Foot Centers, we are dedicated to helping you find the most suitable treatment for your hammertoes, whether it be through non-surgical interventions or more advanced options like hammertoe surgery.

Our team of experienced podiatrists is well-versed in treating various foot conditions, including hammertoes, and will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan. We understand the importance of addressing hammertoes promptly and effectively to prevent further complications and improve your overall well-being.

Don’t let hammertoes hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest. Schedule an appointment with our experienced podiatrists today, and together, we’ll determine the best course of treatment for you. Let us be your partners in taking steps towards healthier and pain-free feet.