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Hammertoe

Board Certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Grand Rapids and Bigfork, MN

Hammertoe

Hammertoe services offered in Grand Rapids and Bigfork, MN

Hammertoes are painful and inconvenient — but being off your feet for an extended recovery period is also disruptive and uncomfortable. At Renew Foot & Ankle, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, double board-certified podiatrist Eric Gilbertson, DPM, FACFAS, offers the newest advanced solution: hammertoe implants. These types of implants correct your hammertoe issue and get you back to walking comfortably. Call the office or click on the scheduling tool to make your appointment today.

Hammertoe Q&A


What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe occurs when the middle joint in your second, third, or fourth toe bends up and stays in that position. This can make your toe resemble a hammer, so it’s known as hammertoe. Hammertoe most often occurs in the second toe, and it usually only affects one toe at a time. 

What are the symptoms of hammertoe?

Hammertoe symptoms usually include:

  • Pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Raw, red, skin on top of the affected toe
  • Corns or calluses on top of the toe joint

With the milder type of hammertoe, flexible hammertoe, you generally have uncomfortable symptoms but can still straighten your toe. With the more severe type of hammertoe, rigid hammertoe, you can’t straighten your toe. Although it may take some time, a flexible hammertoe can progress to a rigid hammertoe if you don’t treat the problem. 

What causes hammertoe?

Hammertoe can develop when the tendons and muscles in your toes and forefoot are out of balance. A number of factors may play into this imbalance, including the shoes you wear (especially high heels), foot anatomy issues like unusually long toe bones, and conditions that affect the joints, like arthritis. 

Bunions and hammertoes often develop together because bunions can change the balance of your foot dramatically.

What is the best treatment for hammertoe?

There are both conservative and surgical treatments for hammertoe. Conservative treatment is only for flexible hammertoes. It focuses on preventing the progression to rigid hammertoe while relieving discomfort. Usually, conservative hammertoe treatments involve custom orthotics, toe exercises, and padding. 

If you have a rigid hammertoe, or you’re likely to develop one, Dr. Gilbertson may recommend surgery. In the past, hammertoe surgery usually involved pins that straightened the toe. During recovery, the ends of the pins stick out from the toe, which could easily lead to painful accidents. 

Fortunately, there’s now a much better way with hammertoe implants. Dr. Gilbertson uses state-of-the-art implants to straighten your toe with no external hardware. He uses minimally invasive techniques for hammertoe surgery. Most patients can walk immediately after their hammertoe surgery using a walking boot.

Hammertoe surgery is a permanent solution for a painful hammertoe, and it allows you to get back to the things you enjoy sooner than you might think. Learn more by calling Renew Foot & Ankle or click the provided scheduling tool now.

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