Hammertoe Specialist

North Texas Foot & Ankle

Matthew Hausenfluke, DPM

Foot and Ankle Surgeon & Podiatry located in Dallas, TX & Garland, TX

Hammertoe is a common condition that causes a contracture (bending) of your toe’s first joint. That causes your toe to curve in a claw or hammerhead-like shape, which can ultimately freeze. At North Texas Foot & Ankle, with two locations in Dallas and Garland, Texas, board-certified foot and ankle surgeon Matthew Hausenfluke, DPM, provides safe, effective treatment for hammertoe. To schedule an appointment, book a consultation online, or call the office nearest you today.

Hammertoe Q & A

What is a hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that causes one or more of your middle toes to stay bent in a curved shape. It occurs due to an imbalance between the muscles, tendons, and ligaments responsible for holding your toe straight.

Hammertoe affects people of all ages and races, but it’s more common in women than in men. Without early intervention and treatment, hammertoe can result in a permanent deformity. That can make it painful to walk, stand, or exercise for extended periods.

What are the types of hammertoes?

At North Texas Foot & Ankle, Dr. Hausenfluke treats the following types of hammertoe:

Flexible hammertoe

If you have a bent toe, but it still moves, it’s called a flexible hammertoe. This type of hammertoe is easy to treat because it’s still in the early stages, and Dr. Hausenfluke can intervene without surgery.

Rigid hammertoe

If you have a bent toe that’s inflexible, it’s a rigid hammertoe. Rigid hammertoes tend to occur in people with arthritis. For a toe to become rigid, the tendons and ligaments must tighten and become immobile. The best course of treatment for a rigid hammertoe is surgery.

What are the symptoms of a hammertoe?

Hammertoe affects everyone differently, but common symptoms include:

  • Corns on top of the toe
  • Redness or swelling at one or more toe joints
  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Pain in the affected toe
  • Pain caused by wearing certain types of shoes

If you have a hammertoe, you might also find it difficult to wiggle, move, or bend your affected toe. 

How is a hammertoe diagnosed?

To diagnose hammertoe, Dr. Hausenfluke reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, and physically examines your feet and toes. 

Most hammertoes are visible to the naked eye, but if Dr. Hausenfluke suspects tendon or ligament damage, he might order a diagnostic ultrasound to get a closer look at the soft tissues within your toe. You may also need an X-ray to view the bones of your foot.

How is hammertoe treated?

Treatment for hammertoe depends on how it affects your quality of life. Usually, Dr.  Hausenfluke recommends conservative methods of care like Superfeet® insoles, custom orthotics, padding and taping, anti-inflammatory drugs, or corticosteroid injections.

If your symptoms persist or get worse, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Hausenfluke offers several types of minimally invasive surgery. During surgery, he repairs the ligaments or tendons causing the hammertoe, restoring balance to your foot. 

To further explore treatment for hammertoe, schedule an appointment at North Texas Foot & Ankle. Book a consultation online, or call the office nearest you today.