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Hammer Toes Specialist

Leonard Greenwald, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in San Jose, CA

Hammer toe can result from shoes that don’t fit properly or a muscle imbalance in your toe, but most often, a combination of both. Expert podiatrist Leonard Greenwald, DPM, and his knowledgeable team provide patient-centered podiatric care at his clinic in San Jose, California. For professional help with hammertoes, call the office for an appointment or book online today.

Hammer Toes Q&A

What causes hammer toes?

A hammer toe is a common foot deformity that develops when you have a dislocation or abnormal bending in your toe muscles, tendons, or ligaments. This abnormal development can cause the toe to turn inward, which puts unnecessary pressure on your surrounding toes. Normally, these supportive soft tissues are supposed to keep your toes straight, but they can become imbalanced and cause an abnormal curvature of your toe due to:

  • Regularly wearing snug-fitting or high-heeled shoes
  • Having a second toe longer than your big toe
  • Toe injury or trauma

You’re also more likely to develop a hammer toe if you’re female or if you’re older. In some cases, chronic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes can also increase your risk of having a hammer toe.

Do I need treatment for a hammer toe?

Yes. Initially, a hammer toe might be flexible, meaning you can move it at the joint. But over time, your tendons or other soft tissues can contract and tighten. This causes your toe to become permanently bent.

The abnormally curved part of your toe is likely going to cause friction as it rubs up against your shoes, which leads to painful corns and calluses. Other symptoms of a hammer toe include redness and swelling in the affected toe. Over time, this can make standing, walking, and even exercising become increasingly painful. 

As soon as you notice signs of a hammer toe, contact Dr. Greenwald for an assessment and expert treatment.

What is the treatment for a hammer toe?

Dr. Greenwald and his team strive to help you find relief from hammer toe pain, starting with your first appointment. You might simply need to wear shoes that have plenty of wiggle room in the toes, allowing your tendons to relax.

Many patients find that wearing custom orthotics provides enough support to minimize hammer toe discomfort and decrease issues with corns and calluses. Your treatment plan could also involve:

  • Cortisone injections
  • Padding corns or calluses
  • Splinting, strapping, or taping

These conservative therapies are known to be most beneficial if your hammer toe is still flexible. Once your hammer toe becomes rigid or too painful, though, you might need surgery.

Get rid of that uncomfortable hammer toe once and for all with Dr. Greenwald. Schedule your evaluation either online or over the phone.