If you suffer from hammertoe, it can be nearly impossible to wear shoes without serious toe pain. But if you seek help early enough, you can resolve hammertoe with nonsurgical treatments that allow you to wear shoes comfortably. Reach out to the podiatry care expert at St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein in St. Augustine, Florida. Thomas LeBeau, DPM, FACCWS, offers customized hammertoe treatment. Book your appointment online 24/7 or call the office today.

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What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe describes when the middle joint of your toes, the proximal interphalangeal joint, contracts and gets stuck, pushing the end of your toe sharply downward. This causes an inverted V shape when viewed from the side. Although hammertoe can affect any toe, it doesn’t typically develop in the big toe.

The two kinds of hammertoe are:


Flexible hammertoes are the mildest form of the condition. If you suffer from flexible hammertoe, you can still move the toe joint, although it might be uncomfortable to do so.


Rigid hammertoe, in which you can’t move the toe joint, can eventually develop if you don’t get flexible hammertoe treated. If you suffer from a condition that causes serious joint problems like arthritis, you might be more likely to develop rigid hammertoe.

Both types of hammertoe are uncomfortable, even painful. It might be difficult to wear shoes that cover your toes without causing pain, pressure, and new problems like corns on the top of the affected toes.

If you’re dealing with hammertoe, the faster you seek treatment, the better your chances are of getting relief through nonsurgical or minimally invasive means.

Why do I have hammertoe?

Hammertoe starts with a muscle imbalance in your toes. This puts excessive pressure on your toe tendons and that mid-toe joint to cause the contraction.

The reason for the muscle imbalance varies, but common causes include foot trauma, a family history of foot problems, and arthritis. High heels or any other shoes that force your toes together can contribute to the development of hammertoe.

How can I fix hammertoe?

Dr. LeBeau can typically resolve hammertoe using noninvasive or minimally invasive treatments, as long as you reach out for help before the hammertoe becomes rigid. Some possible solutions to flexible hammertoe include:

  • Padding and taping
  • Cortisone injections
  • Custom orthotics

Usually, one of these noninvasive options corrects hammertoe, but if you have rigid hammertoe, you might need surgery to remove excess bone from the top of your toe. Dr. LeBeau is a highly experienced foot and ankle surgeon who can correct your hammertoe using minimally invasive surgery.

Hammertoe is an easily solved problem with the help of a highly trained podiatrist like Dr. LeBeau. Call the St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein office to make an appointment or book online anytime.