Hammertoe is a foot deformity that develops over time. It is caused mainly by ill-fitting shoes. High-heeled shoes, shoes that are too short or severely worn may be the culprit. Arthritis and other muscular ailments can also contribute to the condition. Hammertoes, or claw toes, are toes that have buckled or contracted. The toe joints have enlarged, due to stress or an imbalance of pressure applied on the foot. The toes take on claw shape, as in the claw of a hammer.

Hammertoes should be treated promptly. Even in the absence of pain, the distortion of the toes is usually just the beginning. Deformities are flexible at first, but later become fixed and permanently deformed. If they persist, it can become difficult to wear shoes. Multiple calluses and corns are formed. Walking becomes painful.

There are conservative, non-surgical treatments available when help is sought early. The possibilities include specially fitted orthotics. Toe Crests elevate the tip of the toe. A Burden Splint can maintain toe alignment. Shaving corns and calluses can reduce pressure. Stretching the toe box in properly fitted shoes can accommodate the deformity. And there are many other treatment options.

Sometimes conditions warrant a more aggressive treatment plan that may include surgery. This might be necessary to increase mobility, repair significant deformity, or prevent further deterioration. There are a number of new procedures available that can provide welcome relief, often these can be performed on an outpatient basis without an overnight hospital stay.

Podiatrists are the first line of defense in foot care. And the unique combination of podiatry within an orthopaedic surgical practice allows early intervention in foot and ankle care in an advanced medical setting.


  • Toe Crests
  • Burden Splints
  • Shaving Corns
  • Outpatient Surgery

This combination of foot care specialists-podiatrists and orthopaedic surgical physicians-is available only at SportsMed. It means that individuals with foot and ankle problems can be assured they are getting the very best care possible. If their condition warrants the attention of an orthopaedic specialist-one is available for consultation. This is a high quality, conservative foot care plan unduplicated in the region.

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