Do you have toes that are flexed to look like little hammers? These toes are appropriately called hammertoes. They occur as a result of your tendons that cause them to flex overworking against your other tendons. We don’t really know why this happens, but we do know that they tend to occur later on in your life and progress to the point of being painful. They can end up forming calluses on the top of your toes that knock up against your shoes and cause you pain.
The pain from these hammertoes can be alleviated by buying deeper shoes to where they are not knocking up against the roof of your shoes. You can also put sleeves over the top of your toes to protect them from hitting your shoes. However, if none of these conservative treatment plans work, then it is necessary for you to have surgery.
There are different kinds of surgery for this condition. There is one where your toe is freed of all of the constrictive soft tissues around it allowing it more space to bend. There is another where we actually lock your joint to where it will no longer be able to bend and relieve all of the pain from the area. Either of these is a viable option, but with the first, you are more likely to have a relapse of the condition.
If you or someone you know is having pain due to a hammertoe, please give your podiatrist a call so we can help. If you live in the Newburyport or Chelmsford, Massachusetts area, Dr. Wachtel would be more than happy to see you and help treat your calluses.