Hammertoe is a permanent deformity of one of your toes — most often the big toe’s neighbor — in which the toe joints have become bent up and twisted. This condition is often painful and aesthetically unattractive and even embarrassing.
If the hammertoe is flexible, one that can be forced to lie flat with manual pressure, it can be corrected with minor surgery.
When the hammertoe is rigid, arthroplasty is required. This is performed under local anesthesia where a tiny portion of bone is removed, and will permanently eliminate the pain and deformity. You can walk out of the surgery in a surgical shoe.
Sometimes the cause of hammertoes is an overly long second and/or third toe(s). Ambulatory surgical correction can be done under local anesthesia. A small piece of bone is removed; this results in the creation of a normal aesthetic toe arc, removal of the deformity, and alleviation of the pain.
- Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes.
- Corns and calluses (a buildup of skin) on the toe, between two toes, or on the ball of the foot. Corns are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending upon their location.
- Inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation.
- Contracture of the toe.
- In more severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.