Hammer Toe Specialist

VP Foot & Ankle Specialist

Aaron Raestas, DPM

Podiatry located in Garfield Ridge & Printer's Row, South Loop, Chicago, IL

If your toes press up against the fronts of shoes you wear often, you might eventually develop a hammertoe or a toe that is always bent. At VP Foot & Ankle Specialist in the Printer's Row and the Garfield Ridge neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois, Aaron Raestas, DPM treats hammertoes using conservative therapies and supportive devices. To treat your hammertoe and stop it from getting worse, call VP Foot & Ankle Specialist or book an appointment online today.

Hammer Toe Q & A

What is a hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a toe with a permanent bend at the joint. It usually affects the second, third, or fourth toe and stems from an imbalance in the toe’s supportive muscles. You might develop a muscle imbalance after repeatedly wearing shoes that don’t fit properly, or you wear them for long periods. 

At first, a hammertoe might remain in its bent position because the muscles are too weak to straighten it back out. Eventually, the muscles in your toe tighten, so you can’t straighten it at all. Without prompt treatment, you might eventually need surgery to correct the muscle imbalance.

If you don’t yet have a hammertoe, you might be at risk of getting one if you frequently wear high heels or if your second or third toe is longer than your big toe. To prevent hammertoe or stop one from getting worse, Dr. Raestas can teach you simple exercises for your feet. 

What are the symptoms and complications of a hammertoe?

The primary signs and symptoms of a hammertoe are symptoms you can see rather than symptoms you can feel. However, a severe hammertoe can come with inflammation, a burning sensation, or even painful sores. You’ll know you have a hammertoe if you notice:

  • A bend in one of your toes
  • The inability to straighten your toe
  • Corns or calluses on your toe’s joint
  • Swelling and redness

When you arrive for your appointment with symptoms like these, Dr. Raestas might order an X-ray imaging test to view your toe’s joint. The images allow him to assess the bone structure within your foot and plan an effective treatment to address the changes. 

What are my options for hammertoe treatment?

At VP Foot & Ankle Specialist, Dr. Raestas provides treatments for hammertoes that prevent your condition from worsening. First and perhaps most importantly, he recommends that you wear shoes that fit correctly and give your feet the proper support.

The next stages of treatment can address the specific symptoms and complications you experience. Dr. Raestas might recommend:

Physical therapy

Exercising and stretching your toe under the guidance of a physical therapist can help strengthen the muscles of your toe to correct the muscle imbalance. 

Straps and cushions

Straps can give your hammertoe the support it needs to stay in its current position without getting worse. Cushions can provide support to your toe and offer some relief from any existing irritation.

Corn pads

If you develop corns because of your hammertoe, a corn pad can relieve pressure to allow it the opportunity to heal.

Corrective surgery may be necessary to reposition your toe if your hammertoe is particularly severe and resistant to non-invasive treatment. 

Book your evaluation for hammertoe treatment by phone or request one using the online booking tool today.