What Can a Podiatrist Do for Hammer Toes?

If you have hammer toes, you may need to visit a podiatrist. Hammer toes are usually the consequence of an injury, foot surgery, or other topical stress, although they can also arise when a child’s growth spurts halt. If left untreated, these unpleasant conditions can develop into consequences such as persistent pain and reduced motion in your feet.

A podiatrist might help by prescribing exercises and other treatment options to improve mobility, such as orthotics or splints. Below are other things you should expect from your podiatrist if you have hammer toes:

Foot Examinations

A physical examination and consultation are required before receiving treatment from a podiatrist. Following the appointment, the doctor checks your foot before recommending aid. If this is your first time visiting a podiatrist, your doctor will also need a history of your medical data.

With this information, the doctor verifies if you have hammer toes or another foot issue. After the diagnosis, the podiatrist creates a treatment plan for your condition.

Orthopedic Devices

Wearing custom shoe inserts and silicone insulating pads help control foot function and straighten your toe joints. A podiatrist can make custom shoe inserts to reduce the pain caused by hammer toes. They also prevent the worsening of hammertoes.

Other orthopedics devices and non-surgical treatments for hammertoes include:

  •    Tapping shoes to control muscle imbalance
  •    Custom shoe inserts
  •    Pain relief drugs
  •    Insulating padding

All the listed orthopedics devices are necessary for after-surgery care and treatment.

Surgical Interventions

A permanent solution to most types of hammer toes is surgical intervention. A podiatrist performs a unique type of procedure for each type of hammertoe. The specific surgeries for different hammer toes are:

Tendon Transfer

A podiatrist performs a simple surgery that involves tendon transfer for a flexible hammer toe. The surgeon pulls the toe’s tendons at the joint between the muscle and the bone. Stretching the tendon puts the toe in the correct position and removes the strain resulting from the hammertoes.


Arthrodesis, or joint fusion surgery, is another straightforward technique for severe hammertoes. The operation entails removing sections of the joints surrounding your toe to allow the bones to grow together.

To arrange the bones, a doctor may cut tendons, ligaments, and parts of bones. Arthrodesis surgery straightens the toes and prevents the formation of hammertoes.

Small pins are used to hold the joints in place. The pins are then removed when the bones grow together. This is usually two weeks after the surgery.


A podiatrist may prescribe toe removal in instances of severe hammertoes or infections on your toe. Amputation involves the removal of the afflicted toe as well as all of its joints and muscles. This alleviates the discomfort caused by hammer toes.

Therapeutic Procedures

Regular exercise stretches and strengthens your muscles. Simple exercises also allow you to observe where you feel pain or resistance. Some of these exercises include:

  •    Stretching your toes manually
  •    Picking up things from the floor with your toes
  •    Moving your toes in a circular motion

Footwear changes are part of the treatment for flexible hammertoes. Consult your doctor on which shoe is appropriate for your foot.

A podiatrist gives you appointments for checkups. During the checkups, the doctor examines your foot issue and recommends a change in treatment when necessary. The doctor also recommends physical therapy after surgery.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Surgery?

The recovery period following hammertoe surgery is determined by the procedure used. Recovery usually takes between two and six months. Follow up with your doctor and continue your medicine for a speedy recovery.

Is It Worth Getting Hammer Toe Surgery?

Hammertoe surgery reconstructs the deformed joints, muscles, and bones. When the joints are in alignment, the pain is minimal. Flexible hammertoes, on the other hand, do not require surgery. In this case, a podiatrist will likely other forms of treatment, such as physical therapy or orthopedic shoe inserts.

Contact a Podiatrist

Hammertoe is a serious orthopedic issue that leads to more complications if left untreated. Although home remedies work for hammertoes, having a podiatrist check your foot can give you access to the best treatment methods. A podiatrist suggests minor surgeries or non-surgical treatment for flexible hammer toes. For rigid hammer toes, surgical procedures are frequently required.

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