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Hammer Toes Pain in Houston TX


Hammertoes is a condition where one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toes contract. This bending can pressurize toes while wearing shoes and cause problems. Hammertoes start as mild deformities and progressively worsen.

At the start, they are flexible and its symptoms are manageable. However left untreated, they become rigid and don’t respond to any non-surgical treatment. This is why they need early attention.


Muscle or tendon imbalance that leads to bending of toes through structural changes in the foot is the most common cause for hammertoes. Improper fitting shoes can aggravate them. Sometimes, an earlier toe trauma leads to a hammertoe and in some people, it is inherited.


The common symptoms of hammertoes are inflammation, redness and a burning sensation and pain and irritation in the toes when wearing shoes. You may also find corns and calluses on the toes, the ball of the foot or in between two toes.

The constant friction against shoes lead to corns which may be hard or soft based on its location. Other symptoms include contracture of the toe and in severe cases, open sores.


To give the right diagnosis, doctors need a history of your symptoms and a foot examination. The doctor may try manipulating your foot to reproduce symptoms and also study toe contractures. X-rays may be taken to determine the extremity of the deformity and the amount of changes that occurred.

Hammertoes don’t go by themselves, but get worse with time. Some tend to progress faster than others; so it is based on the type you suffer from that your doctor provides your individual treatment plan.

Non-surgical Treatment There are various non-surgical treatments you can consider for treating hammertoes like:
  • Padding corns and calluses provided by your surgeon to shield corns from irritation. Avoid medicated padding as they contain acid that can be harmful to them.
  • Avoid wearing shoes having pointed toes, short shoes and shoes with high heels as they force your toe against the shoe front. Wear comfortable shoes with roomy toe box and heels no higher than two inches.
  • Orthotic devices placed in the shoes control muscle and tendon imbalance.
  • Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen help reducing pain and inflammation.
  • The surgeon may use splints and small straps to realign bent toes.

Your doctor may suggest surgery when the hammertoe becomes rigid and painful or when open sores develop. Sometimes, your surgeon may correct all foot problems on the foot like bunions and hammertoes. Your surgeon will choose the right surgery for you based on the extent of your deformity, your age and activity level and the number of toes involved.

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