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Hammer Toe

Hammer toe is a common deformity of the foot that can cause pain, difficulty walking, and other uncomfortable symptoms. The foot and ankle specialists at Beacon Orthopaedics provide specialized treatment for hammer toe patients in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

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What Are the Types of Hammer Toe?

Technically, hammer toe is a bend in the second toe joint. The term “hammer toe” is often used interchangeably with “claw toe” or “mallet toe,” though these are different variants of the deformity.

  • Claw toe: In patients with claw toe, the bend is in the first and second toe joints
  • Mallet toe: In patients with mallet toe, the bend is in the third toe joint

Treatment for Hammer Toe

Non-Surgical Treatment for Hammer Toe

At Beacon Orthopaedics, our foot and ankle experts always prescribe the least invasive treatment necessary to alleviate a patient’s symptoms. In the case of hammer toe, non-surgical treatment is best performed in the early stages of the deformity when the toe joint is still flexible. Non-surgical treatment for hammer toe includes:

  • Changing footwear: Look for flat shoes that have a roomy toe area and are one-half inch longer than the longest toe.
  • Orthotics
  • Splinting
  • Physical therapy and stretching
  • Cushions, straps, or corn pads to help alleviate pain

Surgery for Hammer Toe

When the deformed toe joint is no longer moveable and non-surgical treatment has not been effective, our doctors can perform surgery for hammer toe. Hammer toe surgery is an outpatient procedure that may involve lengthening the tendons, tendon transfer, removal of part of the joint, or joint fusion.3

Contact Beacon Orthopaedics

If you suffer from the often painful symptoms of hammer toe, our orthopedic surgeons can help. To schedule a consultation with a foot and ankle specialist, contact Beacon Orthopaedics. We are proud to serve patients from Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

1 Mayo Clinic. Hammertoe and mallet toe. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hammertoe-and-mallet-toe/symptoms-causes/syc-20350839#:~:text=A%20hammertoe%20is%20curled%20due,normally%20hold%20the%20toe%20straight. Accessed June 16, 2022.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Hammertoes. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17038-hammertoes. Accessed June 16, 2022.
3 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Hammer toe. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/hammer-toe. Accessed June 16, 2022.