Tuesday, 08 November 2022 00:00

Types of Surgery for Hammertoe

A hammertoe is a deformity that affects the first joint of the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th toe, medically known as the proximal interphalangeal joint. This joint forms a peak rather than lying flat, and is generally believed to be caused by a muscle imbalance from wearing ill-fitting shoes. A weakened muscle can put pressure on a tendon, resulting in a lifting of the joint. The top of the joint then rubs against the inside of the shoe, causing pain. In some cases, only surgery can correct a hammertoe.  Among the surgical options available are tendon transfer, joint resection, and fusion. During a tendon transfer, a nearby tendon is pulled across the joint, causing it to become straighter. This is used with a flexible hammertoe, one that still can be pushed flat manually. Joint resection involves cutting tendons and ligaments in a fixed hammertoe to straighten the joint and removing a portion of the bone. Pins may be put in place to keep the joint stable for a few weeks and then removed. Fusion calls for removing part of the joint to let the bones grow together. If you have a painful hammertoe, it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist for an examination and treatment options. 


Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Toms River Podiatrist . Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.


  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes


Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe


Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Toms River, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

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