Hammertoe

Sometimes, when a hammer toe becomes rigid and causes further problems, such as referred pain or corns and callouses, surgery may be required to correct the condition.

Common questions

What is treatment for hammertoe?

Treatment for hammertoe ranges from using self-help methods such as wearing shoes that fit properly, padding prominent areas, taking medication to reduce pain and swelling, and carrying out foot exercises to restore muscle balance. In more severe cases, steroid (corticosteroid or cortisone) injections directly into the joint may be recommended, to help reduce inflammation. Surgery may also be recommended to correct the hammertoe.

Why would I have treatment for hammertoe?

If you have hammertoe and non-surgical methods have been unsuccessful.

Sometimes, when a hammertoe (mallet toe or claw toe) becomes rigid and causes further problems, such as referred pain or corns and callouses, surgery may be required to correct the condition. If these treatment options have been tried, unsuccessfully, then surgery may be recommended to correct the hammertoe, or to reshape or shorten the toe bones (metatarsals).

What happens during treatment for hammertoe?

The operation may be carried out under a general anaesthetic, so you’ll be asleep, or a local anaesthetic (so you’ll stay awake but won’t feel anything). The operation usually takes less than an hour and you’ll usually go home on the same day.

There are a number of surgical techniques used to treat hammer toes depending on the severity of the condition. Milder cases may involve removing a small piece of bone from the joint to realign the toe. More severe cases may require more complicated surgery, such as releasing or lengthening tendons, putting joints back into place or changing the shape of a bone to realign the toe. Wires or tiny screws may be needed to fix the toe in place.

Contact Benenden Hospital

It’s easy to make an appointment; you can ask your GP or give us a call on 01580 230661.