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Diplomate, American Board of Podiatric Surgery

Diplomate, American Board of Podiatric Surgery

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What is a hammertoe (or hammer toe)?

A hammertoe is a bending of the toe at the middle joint of  Hammertoe, which causes the toe to become crooked with a painful corn on top of the toe. The condition usually affects the second and third toe and is more common in females than males.Most patients also have a bunion which contributes to the hammer toe development. Hammertoes often are flexible initially and may be corrected with simple treatments such as custom-made orthotics and a simple office surgery to release the tight tendon to the toe. However, if left untreated, they can become rigid and requires more correct by having to cut and straighten the bone. Both of these treatments can be done in the office to reduce cost.

There are two types of hammertoe:

  • Flexible Hammertoe: This is a hammertoe that is still flexible at the middle joint of the toe. It is a less serious condition because it can be diagnosed and treated while still in the developmental stage, usually through non-surgical means or a simple release of the tight tendon in the office.
  • Rigid Hammertoe: This is a hammertoe that is no longer flexible at the middle joint of the toe and normally develops a painful corn on top of the toe, the tendons have become tight, and the joint misaligned and immobile, making surgery the usual course of treatment. A rigid hammertoe is more developed and more serious than a flexible hammertoe. Rigid hammertoes are often found in patients with bunions.

If you think you may have a hammertoe, contact us to set up an appointment with Dr. Bembynista, who will evaluate your toe and make a recommendation for treatment, if necessary. We have offices in Overland Park and Kansas City North.

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