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Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center -  - Foot and Ankle Surgeon

Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center

Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Phoenix, AZ & Maricopa, AZ

Hammertoes are a very common condition that isn’t necessarily dangerous, but they can cause great discomfort. At Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center, the team of podiatrists has a number of tools and treatments to help patients in Phoenix and Maricopa, Arizona, find relief from hammertoe pain. To learn more, call or use the online booking feature to set up an appointment.

Hammertoe Q & A

What is a hammertoe?

A hammertoe is an aptly named condition in which your toes contract and bend upward, creating a hammer claw-like shape. While not dangerous, hammertoes can lead to considerable discomfort, especially if corns or calluses develop on the top of your bent toe.

Hammertoes are generally progressive, starting out benignly enough as a small contracture that you can push down. But as they progress, your toe can bend into a 90-degree angle and won’t straighten even when you put pressure on it.

What causes a hammertoe?

The physiological reason behind a hammertoe is an imbalance in the tendons and muscles in your foot, which causes your soft tissue to tighten and pull your toe up at the middle joint. This imbalance is most often caused by:

  • High heels that force your toes forward
  • Shoes that crowd your toes
  • Trauma to your toe
  • A structural or genetically-inherited irregularity

How are hammertoes diagnosed and treated?

Because of their telltale appearance, it’s not difficult for the team at Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center to diagnose a hammertoe. That said, they may still turn to advanced imaging to see what’s going on inside your toe and the extent to which your soft tissue is involved. Our practice is equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, including ultrasound, X-ray, and 3D imaging.

Once your doctor gains a clearer picture of the problem, they typically like to start off conservatively, which may include orthotics and padding. If your hammertoe is severe and causing problems, your doctor may turn to surgical correction.

The surgery itself is fairly simple and your doctor usually performs it on an outpatient basis. Surgery may be as simple as releasing the connective tissue that’s holding your toe in a bent position.

If you’d like to straighten out your hammertoe, call Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle Center or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.