Dr. Johanna Youner, DPM, FACFAS

Board-Certified Podiatric Surgeon
40 Park Avenue, Suite 5
(37 East 36th Street)
New York, N.Y. 10016

Contact Us:

(212) 683-7757
(212) 683-7034
Fax: (212) 889-6150

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What are Hammertoes?

A hammertoe is an arched toe, the result of an abnormal contraction or “buckling” that leaves the toe in a claw-like position. Once stiffened into position, hammertoes rub against shoes and cause painful corns and calluses.

What causes hammertoes?

A hammertoe usually stems from muscle imbalance, but it is often aggravated by poor-fitting shoes or socks that cramp the toes. Often, a foot with a bunion will also have a hammertoe, caused by the bunion pushing the big toe under a second toe that then becomes arched.

Those with rheumatoid arthritis, high arches, or a tendency to rotate their feet inward when walking are especially susceptible to hammertoes.

Hammertoe Surgery

In treating a flexible hammertoe, the tendons are repositioned to allow the toe to lie flat. Afterwards, you may wear a surgical shoe for several weeks.

For rigid hammertoe, several types of treatments are available:

Arthroplasty. A portion of the joint is removed and the toe is straightened.

Fusion. Cartilage between the two toe bones is removed and the bones fuse to form one longer bone.

Implant. In some situations, a portion of the bone is removed and replaced with an implant.