Many people wonder what a hammertoe is exactly. Well to put it simply, a hammertoe is when a toe starts to curl down or rotates. Hammertoes can be hereditary. So take a good look at your mom or grandmother’s toes to see if you’re likely to develop them too! If you already know you have a hammertoe and it’s causing you pain or discomfort, then the next topic to talk about is treatment. What can be done for a hammertoe? There are several options including conservative and surgical intervention. Conservative treatment consists of different types of padding, using splints to keep the toes down or wearing shoes that remove pressure from the hammertoe to reduce pain. There is no conservative treatment available that can “straighten” a hammertoe permanently. Conservative treatment is used to reduce the symptoms associated with a hammertoe only. If you have tried conservative treatment and continue to have pain, then surgical intervention should be discussed. At Advanced Podiatry, we offer two types of surgery options. The first option is a minimally invasive in-office procedure that releases soft tissue that has tightened around the joint causing a hammertoe to occur. This type of surgery has very little recovery time and does not require you to be off of your foot. There are also no pins or wires involved. We simply use a soft dressing to splint the toe in the corrected position while it is healing. The second option is a traditional hammertoe correction that is performed in a surgery center or hospital. This type of procedure involves removing the bump on the toe and straightening the toe with a pin that is removed 4 weeks after surgery. This type of surgery requires you to use a post surgical shoe or boot and limit your activity until the toe has healed. You should discuss which procedure would be most beneficial for you with your podiatrist if you’re interested in surgical treatment. If you have a hammertoe that is causing pain, then call Advanced Podiatry at 813-875-0555 for an appointment to discuss whether conservative or surgical treatment is an option. The doctors at Advanced Podiatry can help determine which treatment options will be the most effective and safest for you!