Hammer Toes Specialist

Pomona Valley Podiatry Group

Podiatrist located in Pomona, CA

The ominously named hammertoe is an apt description for a condition that causes your toe to contract, creating an angular shape that can be very uncomfortable and, often, painful. At Pomona Valley Podiatry Group, Brian O’Neill, DPM, routinely treats hammertoes, providing relief for his patients in Pomona, California. If you have hammertoes, call to find out about getting things, literally, straightened out. Or you can use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.

Hammer Toes Q & A

Pomona Valley Podiatry Group

What is a hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a condition that develops over time and causes your toe to contract upward in the middle joint. Because of the newly prominent position of this middle joint, painful or uncomfortable calluses and corns can form on your skin. Hammertoe typically affects the three toes between your big and little toes.

When a hammertoe first begins to take shape, your toe is still flexible, but, over time, your toe may become “frozen” into position, losing its ability to straighten out.

Because hammertoes are progressive, early intervention is key to solving the problem before it goes past the point of easy treatment and you may need surgery to correct the issue.

What causes a hammertoe?

Hammertoes are typically caused by an imbalance in your soft connective tissue, including your muscles and tendons. This imbalance is often created through:

  • Poor footwear
  • Structural irregularities
  • The way you walk
  • Nerve damage, such as diabetic neuropathy
  • Trauma to the toe

Hammertoes aren’t serious at first, but they can become very problematic if you don’t seek early intervention to remedy them.

If you’re diabetic, it’s especially important that you see Dr. O’Neill at the first signs of a problem so he can prevent more serious complications down the road.

How are hammertoes treated?

Once Dr. O’Neill confirms a hammertoe, which he can largely do with a simple visual evaluation, he comes up with a treatment that depends upon the severity of your condition. If you catch a hammertoe in its early stages, Dr. O’Neill recommends a combination of the following:

  • Stretching exercises
  • Custom orthotics
  • Changes in footwear
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Padding for any corns or calluses
  • Splinting or strapping

If your hammertoe doesn’t respond to conservative treatment, Dr. O’Neill can go in and surgically correct your hammertoe by releasing the soft tissue that’s holding it in place. Dr. O’Neill performs the surgery on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to go home afterward. You should plan on taking it easy for a week or two to allow time for your toe to heal.

To stop your hammertoe from becoming a chronic and hard-to-treat issue, call Pomona Valley Podiatry Group, or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.