Hammertoe Specialist

New York Foot Experts

Podiatrist & Podiatric Surgeon located in Financial District, New York, NY

Hammertoe won't improve without intervention, and the longer it goes untreated, the more likely you are to need surgery. At New York Foot Experts: Daniel Drapacz, DPM, your diagnosis and treatment are in the hands of a knowledgeable and experienced foot specialist. Dr. Drapacz can develop a customized plan to relieve your pain and restore normal movement, so don't wait until your symptoms worsen. Call one of his New York offices located in Midtown Manhattan, Harlem, the Upper East Side, and the Financial District.

Hammertoe Q & A

What causes hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a deformity of your second, third, or fourth toes. It develops when the middle joint is abnormally bent in a way that makes the toe resemble the shape of a hammer.

This common deformity develops when the muscles that typically hold the toe straight become imbalanced with the muscles that bend them. When the toe is bent and held in that position for an extended time, the muscles responsible for bending the toe tighten.  As a result, the toe can't straighten out.

The primary causes of hammertoe are:

  • Shoes: High-heeled shoes or footwear with a toe box that’s too small for your feet can force your toes into a curled or bent position.
  • Trauma: If you stub, jam, or break your toe, you’re at a higher risk of developing hammertoe.
  • Abnormal structure: Flat feet, abnormally high arches, and weak muscles may make your toe contract.
  • Foot conditions: Conditions that cause misaligned toes, such as bunions, can lead to hammertoe.
  • Musculoskeletal disease: Diseases that affect your bones, muscles, and supporting tendons and ligaments such as arthritis may cause hammertoe.

What are the symptoms of hammertoe?

When you have a hammertoe, you’ll experience pain and have a hard time moving the toe. Corns may develop as the bent toe rubs against your shoes or neighboring toes.

How is hammertoe treated?

When hammertoe first develops, the toe is still flexible, and your symptoms may be mild. Even though you may be tempted to ignore the problem, this is when you should see Dr. Drapacz.

As long as your toe is still flexible, Dr. Drapacz can treat it with simple, noninvasive methods. Treatment may include roomier footwear, custom orthotics to relieve pressure, and toe braces or strapping techniques to reposition your toe. Specific exercises may also help stretch and strengthen your toe muscles.

If your hammertoe goes untreated, the toe gradually becomes rigid and fixed in the bent position. When that happens, you’ll need surgery to reposition the toe, reconstruct the joint, or fuse the bones. Surgical intervention, however, is very effective, and hammertoe rarely recurs after surgical repair.

Please call New York Foot Experts or book an appointment online at the earliest sign of hammertoe, so you can get symptom relief and prevent complications. Options include evenings, Saturdays, and same-day appointments.

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