Hammer Toes Treatment
Hammer toe treatment goals
Treatments for hammer toes can vary, depending on how severe the case.
In general, treatment goals for hammer toes aim to:
- Increase and preserve the flexibility of toes.
- Stretch and strengthen toe muscles.
- Release tendons triggering toe positions.
At UPMC Orthopaedic Care, our doctors use a range of treatments in cases of hammer toes such as:
- Nonsurgical treatments
- Surgical treatments
Medications for hammer toe pain
Doctors may prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to treat hammer toes.
Hammer toe nonsurgical treatment
Common nonsurgical treatments include many different types of shoe adaptations to help with hammer toe pain relief. The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery recommends shoes that are one half inch longer than the longest toe.
Additional shoe adaptations include:
- Stretching current shoes or buying new shoes to allow enough room in the toe box.
- Avoiding high heels.
- Adding insoles or orthotics to your shoes.
- Using hammer toe regulators and straighteners.
Hammer toe surgery
Orthopaedic experts at UPMC often suggest hammer toe correction surgery for people that haven't had success with nonsurgical treatments for their hammer toes.
Some of the more common surgical strategies for hammer toes aim to:
- Move tendons and ligaments.
- Relieve pain.
- Remove parts of bones and muscles to straighten toes.
Benefits and risks of hammer toe treatments
Both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for hammer toes, when implemented quickly, can be effective in preserving and even restoring and repairing toe flexibility.
If you think you might be at risk for hammer toes, it's crucial to regularly monitor:
- Your toes
- Foot pain
- Any changes in toe and foot flexibility
After any surgical treatments for hammer toes, you may experience:
You will be able to walk after surgery, but should do so in moderation.
Failure to follow doctors' orders of postoperative rest may lead to further problems and related complications.
Learn more about treatments for hammer toe
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