Podiatry located in Midtown, New York, NY


Hammertoe services offered in Midtown, New York, NY

Hammertoe stops the affected toe from flexing correctly, causing it to stay bent like a hammer. Grand Central Podiatry: Ernest Levi, DPM, provides complete hammertoe care in their offices bordering East and West Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Dr. Levi is an experienced foot doctor and podiatric surgeon specializing in treating hammertoe and similar conditions like bunions. Call Grand Central Podiatry: Ernest Levi, DPM, today at 607-536-4515 or book an appointment online for a hammertoe evaluation.

Hammertoe Q&A

What is hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a condition where one or more of the three middle toes becomes stuck in a bent position instead of lying flat. The affected toe’s middle joint bends upward, its end pointing downward, resembling a hammer’s head.

Hammertoe most often affects the second toe but sometimes forms in the third and fourth toes. The affected toe is flexible during its development, and you can straighten it. As the condition gets worse, the toe’s flexibility gradually reduces until it becomes rigid.

What problems does hammertoe cause?

Hammertoe causes significant problems, especially as the toe or toes become more rigid. Symptoms you can experience include:

  • Corns (deep, hard skin patches)
  • Pain when wearing shoes
  • Swelling and redness
  • Limited toe movement
  • Pain in the ball of your foot

Women are more likely than men to develop hammertoe.

What causes hammertoe?

An imbalance in the toe’s ligaments, tendons, and muscles causes the unnatural, bent position. Things that can cause an imbalance over time include:

  • Injury
  • Arthritis
  • Old age
  • Diabetes
  • Tight footwear
  • High heels
  • Pointy shoes

Your genetics also affect your risk of hammertoe.

Are hammertoe and bunions the same?

Hammertoe and bunions both involve problems with the toe joints and have similar causes, but they aren’t the same. Bunions form in the base of the big toe when the end of the toe points too far inward. This forces the bone at the toe’s base outward.

Inflammation develops, and a large bony lump appears on the foot’s inside edge. The skin can look red, stretched, and shiny. The lump also presses painfully against the inside of your shoes. Without treatment, it can make walking uncomfortable.

Which treatments help with hammertoe?

Conservative treatment helps with flexible hammertoe. Dr. Levi might recommend custom-fitted orthotics (corrective shoe inserts) and pads to redirect pressure and relieve pain.

He also offers guidance on footwear changes. Exercises and stretches that strengthen the feet and toes slow down hammertoe’s development.

If a toe becomes rigid, Dr. Levi might suggest surgery. Procedures he uses include:

  • Transferring tendons
  • Lengthening contracted (shortened) tendons
  • Removing the joint knuckle
  • Stabilizing the joint using pins
  • Immobilizing the toe to promote new bone growth
  • Joint replacement

It’s best to treat hammertoe while the toes are still flexible.

Call Grand Central Podiatry: Ernest Levi, DPM, today at 607-536-4515 or book an appointment online for a timely hammertoe evaluation.