Hammer Toe

Scott Rubenstein, DPM

Podiatrist located in Gramercy Park, New York, NY

Having a hammertoe can lead to uncomfortable corns and calluses, as well as joint pain within the toe itself. Dr. Scott Rubenstein in New York City’s Gramercy Park neighborhood is a board-certified podiatrist with the expertise to help relieve hammertoe discomfort and, if needed, correct it with minimally invasive surgery. To schedule a hammertoe evaluation, use the online booking option or call the office directly at 212-674-1120.

Hammer Toe Q & A

What causes hammertoe?

A hammertoe is a toe joint deformity that develops in the smaller toes. Hammertoes can occur in any toe including the big toe, although a  hammertoe most commonly forms in the second toe due to it being longer than the big toe. Tight fitting shoes can contribute to the formation and irritation of hammer toes. The longer the toe is pushed into a contracted position, the more likely it is to remain that way as muscles, tendons, or ligaments can no longer hold the toe straight.

Causes of hammertoes include:

  • Inherited foot shape
  • Trauma or injury

Women are more likely to develop hammertoes than men, likely due to women's dress shoes.

What are the symptoms of hammertoe?

A hammertoe itself resembles a hammer as the middle toe joint gets bent out of position. The affected toe may be flexible at first but becomes increasingly rigid over time, painful, and more difficult to move. In addition, corns and calluses may begin to form as the hammertoe continues to rub against the insides of tight-fitting footwear.

How is hammertoe treated?

As a board-certified podiatrist and expert in the field of foot and ankle care, Dr. Rubenstein offers conservative and surgical solutions for hammertoe discomfort at his modern Manhattan office. Conservative treatments may include:

  • Custom orthotic inserts
  • Taping, padding, or splinting
  • Corticosteroid injections

If the hammertoe doesn’t respond to conservative measures, Dr. Rubenstein may recommend minimally invasive surgery where he makes a small incision to release the tendon that’s causing the deformity, allowing the affected toe to lie flat again. In more severe cases, he might also need to reposition and realign the toe joint. Dr. Rubenstein will discuss both conservative and surgical options during your consultation.  

Schedule an appointment at the office of Dr. Scott Rubenstein today for a hammertoe evaluation. Book online or over the phone by calling 212-674-1120.