Hammertoe is a progressive foot problem that requires treatment to prevent the toe from becoming rigid. Podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Jeffrey Kleis, DPM, treats hammertoes in men and women of all ages at his private practice in Costa Mesa, California. If you suffer from hammertoe, don’t delay seeking treatment. Call the office of Jeffrey Kleis, DPM, Inc. or book an appointment online.
A hammertoe deformity occurs when the toe joints bend abnormally to resemble a hammer, or an upside-down V when viewed from the side. This podiatric condition can affect any toe but is most common in the second through fifth toes.
In the early stages, a hammertoe may retain its flexibility and range of motion at the joint. Flexible hammertoes are less serious and easier to treat than rigid, or inflexible hammertoes.
Cases of hammertoes that remain untreated for a long time or occur in women and men with arthritis may result in a loss of flexibility. Surgery is usually the only treatment for rigid hammertoes.
The most common cause of hammertoe involves an imbalance in the muscles and tendons in the toe. Common causes of muscle imbalance in the foot include:
Wearing tight-fitting shoes can aggravate muscle imbalance and lead to hammertoe.
Hammertoes are progressive, so your symptoms get worse and don’t resolve on their own. Common signs and symptoms of hammertoe include:
Over time, the toe can become rigid and develop open sores that may become infected. This condition never improves without treatment, that’s why it’s best to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kleis as soon as you notice symptoms of hammertoe.
First, Dr. Kleis performs a thorough physical exam and review of our medical history. He may try to reproduce your symptoms by moving your toe with his hands. Dr. Kleis may also take an X-ray to determine the extent of your condition and check for signs of joint damage.
Finally, he develops an individualized treatment plan that may include:
For a flexible hammertoe, often a simple 10 minute surgery in the office can straighten the toe.
For expert hammertoe treatment from a professional who takes the time to answer your questions and explain procedures and treatments in detail, call or book an appointment online with Dr. Kleis today.