FAQ - Hammer Toe Syndrome
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hammer toe?

what does hammer toe do to you?

does hammer toe stunt your overall body growth?

is shoe size/foot length a height predictor or does your feet grow according to your body?

Definition Return to top

Hammer toe is a deformity of the toe, in which the end of the toe is bent downward.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors Return to top

Hammer toe usually affects the second toe, although it may also affect the other toes. The toe assumes a claw-like position. The condition may occur as a result of pressure from a bunion. A corn on the top of a toe and a callus on the sole of the foot develop, which makes walking painful.

The condition may be congenital (present at birth) or acquired by wearing short, narrow shoes. The condition also occurs in children who continue to wear shoes they have outgrown.

The rare case in which all toes seem to be involved may indicate a problem with the nerves or spinal cord.

Symptoms Return to top

* Claw-like deformity of a toe
* Corn formation on the top of a toe
* Callus formation on the sole of the foot
* Foot pain -- pain in the joint where the great toe joins the foot

Signs and tests Return to top

A physical examination of the foot confirms the presence of hammer toe.

Treatment Return to top

Mild hammer toe in children can be treated with foot manipulation and splinting the affected toe. Properly-sized footwear or wide toe-box shoes usually provide comfort and can reduce aggravation of hammer toes. The protruding joint can be protected with corn pads or felt pads, corrective footwear, or other foot devices. Exercises may be helpful.

Severe hammer toe requires an operation to straighten the joint. The surgery may involve cutting or transferring tendons, or fusing the joints of the toe together.

Expectations (prognosis) Return to top

If the condition is treated early, surgery can often be avoided. Treatment will reduce the associated pain and difficulty with walking.

Complications Return to top

* Foot deformity
* Posture changes caused by difficulty in walking

Calling your health care provider Return to top

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if hammer toe is present, for instructions on the best treatment.

Also call for an appointment if pain gets worse or difficulty walking occurs.

Prevention Return to top

Avoid wearing shoes that are too short or narrow. Check children's shoe sizes frequently, especially during periods of fast growth.

Update Date: 11/2/2006  (+ info)

Hammer toe ......?

I am having my pin removed on Monday.
It has been in there for almost 8 weeks.

I am afraid it's going to hurt.
If any of you have been though this please let me know if it was painful.


Please ask your doctor and he may alleviate your pain.............this may not be a proper place for this question. Doctors are humans too.  (+ info)

What age do you have to be to get hammer toe surgery?

What age do you have to be to get the surgery for a hammer toe? Need to know A.S.A.P.

I didn't opt for the surgery myself. After reading up on it I went after taking care of it myself. I figured if it was only because of shortening of the tendons, all I had to do was to get them to release and they would go back to their normal legth. And they did. I pressed in on the bottom of the toe with one hand and on the second joint with my other thumb and held the both tight for 30 seconds. When I released the toes stayed straight.  (+ info)

Removing Pin after hammer toe surgery, how bad does it hurt?

I'm having my pin removed from my hammer toe on Wednesday, how bad should I expect this to hurt and how fast does it take to remove it? It looks like it will really hurt.

my husband had a fusion of the bones to 2 toes and ten days after surgery they removed the pins that were sticking out the end of the toes, the dr just pulled with a pair of pliers and they were out, husband said it didnt hurt, hope this helps.  (+ info)

If you have short little toes rather than long finger like toes, does that decrease your chance for hammer toe?

I've seen all these pictures of hammer toes and they are on these really long toes that look as long as my pinky finger. I have very short toes, does this decrease my chances? Can I wear my heels without fear now?

I have short toes too! My husband always says it looks like someone cut my toes in half.
But hey, that means I can wear open toe shoes without having to worry about my toes touching the floor. Ewwwww.   (+ info)

how long is the recovery from hammer toe surgery?

OK i am thinking about getting the surgery, but i want to know about how long the whole recovery process is going to take.

Funny you should ask. I just emailed a podiatrist in NYC asking that same question and this is what she told me:

"It takes approximately 3-4 weeks to recover from hammertoe surgery. However, you will be able to walk the day of the surgery in a surgical shoe ( hard soled shoe). Generally, the stitches will come out at 3 weeks. There is some swelling and discomfort that occurs after the procedure and it may be difficult to get back into a sneaker for 3-4 weeks after surgery. If your job allows you to stay seated for a large portion of the day, then you can probably go back to work with in a week or so fo the procedure. However, if you have to stand most of the day, then I would advise you to take 3-4 weeks off from work. "

Dr. Tsentserensky  (+ info)

What exactly is a Hammer Toe?

Does anyone know what is a hammer toe or how you end up with one?

To see a hammer toe go to the following website:


My Grandpa had a hammer toe. It was formed by a broken toe not healing correctly. It caused him quite a bit of pain, and he eventually had it re-broken then re-set by a doctor.  (+ info)

Need some help big toe hit with small sledge hammer?

Ok friend dropped a sledge hammer on my toe a few weeks ago and the thing is it's kinda loose now like I can wiggle it a little bit and the left side u can lift up but the bottom is still hooked on the right corner about a centimeter over and the right side of the nail is still in. I ship to army basic training in twenty seven days. What should I do?

  (+ info)

Does any one know where I can find a pair of Dr./Doc Martens with the Russian hammer and sickle on the toe?

I have been looking for these Docs for years and I can't find them anywhere. They are all black except for the toe, which is red with a yellow hammer and sickle from the Russian communist flag. I want these shoes so desperately bad! I have tried ebay, but with no luck. I think they stopped making them in the 80s, so please do not suggest any sites like Zappos. Thanks a ton to any one with suggestions!!

you will have to stick with Ebay. those are really rare shoes.  (+ info)

I' am froming a hammer toe, how can i fix it?

I'am only fourteen years old and already forming a hammer toe. I would like to know are there any ways i can fix it.

It depends on how serious the hammertoe is.
At only 14, I would suspect that if is what we would call "a positional" deformity, not yet fixed or involving bone.
You might be in need of an orthotic. The foot must be pretty out of balance to be developing digital deformities so soon.
You can prevent the hammertoe from getting worse by wearing shoes with deeper toeboxes.
Otherwise, you're looking at some sort of surgical correction.  (+ info)

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