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Hammertoe Specialists

Sports Medicine Oregon

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Tigard, OR & Wilsonville, OR

Hammertoe is a painful issue that can make standing and walking difficult. At Sports Medicine Oregon in Tigard and Wilsonville, Oregon, the team of orthopedic surgeons uses advanced techniques to relieve pain caused by hammertoe. Hammertoe and mallet toe can negatively impact your quality of life. To learn more, call Sports Medicine Oregon or schedule an appointment online now.

Hammertoe Q&A

What is a hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a condition that gives the affected toe an abnormal bend. It is caused by an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that hold your toe straight. Without balance, the toe starts to bend at its middle joint. 

Mallet toe affects the joint closest to the toenail. Both conditions commonly develop in the second, third, or fourth toes.

What are the symptoms of a hammertoe?

Hammertoe and mallet toe are uncomfortable conditions that can cause pain and pressure on the affected toe. Individuals with hammertoes may find it difficult to wear shoes without experiencing pain.

If you have a hammertoe or mallet toe, your affected toe looks noticeably bent and limp. That bend also makes your toe vulnerable to corns and calluses because it’s more likely to chafe against your shoes.

Most people still have some flexibility in their affected toe at first. Without treatment, however, the toe becomes permanently bent.

What causes a hammertoe?

Causes and risk factors for hammertoe and mallet toe include:

  • Wearing high-heels or narrow shoes
  • Being a woman
  • Direct trauma
  • An imbalance in the toe muscles
  • Being older
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis

You’re also more likely to develop a hammertoe or mallet toe if you have naturally long toes.

What are the treatments for hammertoe?

The best treatment for a hammertoe is prevention. Always make sure your shoes have plenty of room. Avoid high-heels and shoes with pointed toes. Sticking to shoes with adjustability, like those with laces or straps, allows you to create more room if needed.

To diagnose a hammertoe, your orthopedic surgeon performs a physical exam and takes X-rays. That allows the team to see the extent of the damage to determine the next steps for your treatment. They might also palpitate your toe during a visual exam.

In some cases, surgery is the only way to permanently correct a hammertoe. During this procedure, the surgeon removes a small portion of bone to force the toe to straighten. That relieves pressure on the toe to ease your discomfort.

If you have a hammertoe or mallet toe, the experienced orthopedic surgeons at Sports Medicine Oregon can help. Call the office and consult with a helpful staff member or book an appointment online today.