Treatments for Hammertoes and Mallet Toes


A variety of toe deformities can affect the four small toes of the foot, leading to pain, discomfort and additional problems with rubbing on your footwear. Your toes will look crooked, and they get their names from the location of the bending.

Toes that are bent upward at the first joint and down at the next two joints are called claw toes and when all four small toes at the same time are involved you have a condition called claw foot. A mallet toe will bend at the toe tip, while a hammertoe bends downward at the middle joint in the shape of a hammer.

Since a bent toe can rub against the inside of your shoes, or rub against another toe, you have to frequently check for the formation of corns and blisters.

If your toe is still flexible, your foot doctor may be able to help straighten it out using some of the following treatments and exercises:

●     Arch supports and shoe inserts - Properly fitted arch supports, orthotic shoe inserts, toe tubes, and other forms of padding will keep the toes and the foot in the proper position, while also providing cushioning and insulation from rubbing.

●     Proper footwear - Change your footwear to shoes with a wide toe box that can accommodate pads and inserts and allow your toes enough room to move without rubbing against the inside of your shoes.

●     Pain relief - Ibuprofen or Tylenol may be used for pain and swelling reduction.

●     Strength and flexibility exercises - including towel curls, will help to improve your toes strength and flexibility.

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to straighten the toe.

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort from a hammertoe deformity, seek the help of your podiatrist. At Monroe Foot & Ankle Care, Dr. Elliott M. Perel treats a variety of conditions including diabetic foot problems, bunions, nail fungus, arthritis, and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies including shockwave therapy, MLS Laser treatment, and computerized gait analysis, Monroe Foot & Ankle Care provides specialized, high-quality service for patients across central New Jersey. For any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, contact our Monroe/Jamesburg office at (732) 521-2155 for an appointment.