A hammer toe is a deformity in which the first joint of the toe is cocked upward and middle joint downward to form a peak in the middle of the toe.
In many cases this condition comes as a result of wearing shoes that don't fit properly.
Marshfield Clinic has orthopedic specialists who are expertly trained in treatment of this issue.
Depending on the severity of the hammer toe, your physician may recommend surgical and non-surgical treatments.
If the hammer toe is not too advanced, changing to better fitting shoes may allow the toes to return to their normal position.
If other treatments are not successful, your physician may recommend surgery to correct the alignment of the toe. Surgical options include:
- Arthroplasty - involves reconstruction or replacement of the affected joint. A small incision is made on top of the toe and one side of the joint is removed, releasing tension on the ligaments and tendons aligning the toe into its proper position.
- Arthrodesis - more commonly known as "joint fusion." In this case the surgeon removes part of the joint to allow the remaining bones to realign and fuse back together.
- Tendon adjustment - the surgeon may cut the supporting tissue and move tendons in order to realign the toe.