Once the toe is fixed into position, hammertoes rub against shoes and cause painful corns and calluses.
Conservative Treatment Options
Shoes with a high toe box, or roomy front end and open-toed shoes are recommended
Protective pads or moleskin to cushion skin against painful pressure and rubbing
Shoe inserts (orthotic devices) prescribed by your podiatrist and molded to your feet help your feet function better
Specially fitted or prescription shoes large enough to accommodate the hammertoe
Medication such as corticosteroid injections and pain relievers for temporary relief of symptoms
Physical therapy, massage and acupuncture to increase range of motion and decrease swelling
Surgical Correction for Hammertoes
In treating a flexible hammertoe, tendons are surgically repositioned to allow the toe to lie flat. Afterwards, your podiatrist may recommend that your wear a surgical shoe for several weeks.
For a rigid hammertoe, one of several treatments is available. In an arthroplasty, a portion of the joint is removed and the toe is straightened. With fusion, cartilage between the two toe bones is removed and the bones fuse as one longer bone. In some situations a portion of the bone is removed and replaced with an implant. Afterwards, you may wear a surgical shoe for several weeks.