Hammertoes Specialist

Ramin Zaghi, DPM -  - Board Certified Podiatrist

Ramin Zaghi, DPM

Board Certified Podiatrist located in Gramercy Park, New York, NY

Hammertoes are very common and bring many men and women to the care of Ramin Zaghi, DPM, in Gramercy Park, New York City. If you have an unusual bend in one of your toes or are experiencing ongoing foot pain, call the office today to explore diagnostic and treatment options. You can also use the online booking page to set up a visit, and begin looking forward to less pain and restored function.

Hammertoes Q&A

What are hammertoes?

The term hammertoe is used to describe a condition in which your second, third, or fourth toe has an abnormal bend. There is a wide range of variation in the way human feet are shaped and sized, but your toes should always lie in a relatively straight line extending from your foot, without abnormal angles or bending. 

This condition was named after the abnormal bend in the affected toes. When the ends of a toe extend in an extreme downward angle from the middle joint, it creates a shape somewhat like a hammer. An abnormal downward bend from the joint at the end of your toe is sometimes called a mallet toe. 

What might have caused my hammertoes?

Many different things can cause a deformity in the joints of your toes. Some people simply have a genetic predisposition to issues in the joints in their feet. Additional causal factors include:

  • Wearing shoes that are too tight around your toes
  • Diseases like arthritis or diabetes
  • Second toes that are longer than your big toe
  • Sex, with women experiencing hammertoe more often than men
  • Breaking, jamming, or stubbing a toe

As you can see, some of the potential causes are in your control while others are not. 

How are hammertoes treated?

Most cases of hammertoe will grow progressively worse over time. Seeking treatment is important to address the joint abnormality in the early stages, before significant pain occurs. 

Your treatment path largely depends on whether you still have a degree of flexibility in the affected toes. If so, exercises can help stretch your toes and restore normal joint alignment. You might be able to treat sores and calluses with over-the-counter creams and pads. 

Cortisone injections are sometimes used to relieve pain. Custom shoe orthotics can help prevent a hammertoe from growing worse. In some cases, surgery is the best treatment option. There are techniques that can realign your tendons, remove damaged bone, and reposition joint components. 

Don’t live with the discomfort and aesthetics of hammertoe when there are treatments that can help. Booking a visit with Dr. Zaghi takes just moments online or over the phone.