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Center for Podiatric Medicine

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Chicago, Schaumburg, Elmhurst, Lombard, IL & Highland, IN

Muscle and connective tissue imbalances in your smaller toes lead to a deformity known as a hammertoe. While not a major medical concern, a hammertoe can become increasingly uncomfortable, which is why the team of board-certified podiatrists at the Center for Podiatric Medicine offers pain relief solutions. Book your hammertoe evaluation online or over the phone by calling one of the three convenient Illinois locations in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, Schaumburg, and Lombard.


What causes a hammertoe?

You have muscles and tendons in your toes that are responsible for helping your toes lie flat. When your toes — particularly your second, third, or fourth toes that are too long — get scrunched up, these soft tissues become imbalanced. Usually, this issue occurs when you wear shoes with inadequate wiggle room for your toes, like high heels.

Your footwear isn’t the only thing to blame when it comes to developing a hammertoe, though. Hammertoes can even stem from:

  • Arthritis
  • Injury
  • Inherited foot shape and genetics

Hammertoes tend to gradually get worse over time. They often start out as flexible, then eventually become rigid deformities. In either case, you have plenty of options for treating a hammertoe and getting relief.

When should I see a podiatrist for a hammertoe?

You should schedule an evaluation as soon as you start noticing that a hammertoe is developing to delay further progression. You should have an exam right away if your hammertoe:

  • Has painful corns or calluses
  • Is stiff or has limited movement
  • Causes pain or discomfort

With so many personalized hammertoe treatments available, you can get the relief you need right in the Center for Podiatric Medicine office.

What is the treatment for a hammertoe?

Your hammertoe treatment plan is likely going to include several different types of therapies designed to resolve your symptoms and help soft tissues heal. Hammertoe therapies include:

  • Custom orthotics
  • Specialized shoes
  • Corn or callus removal
  • Daily stretching exercises
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

If your hammertoe is still flexible, you might also benefit from a simple in-office tendon release surgery. This minor surgery results in a rapid recovery and typically requires a single stitch.

But if you have a rigid hammertoe or have multiple hammertoes, your specialist might recommend surgical correction. This minimally invasive procedure involves removing damaged bone tissue and restructuring your toe joint. In either case, surgery is usually the last resort if conservative therapies aren’t providing effective relief.

Schedule your hammertoe evaluation at the Center for Podiatric Medicine today. Click on the online scheduler or call any location to book your appointment.

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