Understanding the Different Types of Hammertoe Surgery

Foot pain is not something most of us want to deal with on a daily basis. However, in the United States, many people live with foot pain without seeking care for it. This is a huge problem. Your overall health is incredibly linked to the health of your feet if you think about it. Your feet allow you to move around freely and live life the way you want. Without the use of your feet, your quality of life drops drastically. Even experiencing slight discomfort can stop people from walking or getting the exercise they need day to day. The people who do consult medical professionals often find that their foot pain comes from an underlying condition. Reaching out for help in these situations and learning how to fix hammer toe is the first step to leading a better life.

ankle painWhat Is Hammertoe?

Most people have never heard of hammertoe. So, it might be difficult to understand that hammertoe may be what’s causing your pain. If your toes look all crowded together, it’s likely that you suffer from hammertoe. Hammertoe is a disorder that affects the tendons and joints in your toes. It creates the abnormal bend that you might see in the toe joints. Typically, it affects the toe next to your big toe. Hammertoe causes toes to become deformed and even stick out above your other toes. There are plenty of different options for how to fix hammer toe, such as with a hammer toe treatment in Algonquin, and luckily not all of them are surgical. If you do end up needing hammertoe correction or one of the types of hammertoe surgery, the upside is you aren’t like to develop it again. Follow along to learn more about how to fix hammer toe, the different types of hammertoe surgery, and the details of a hammer toe treatment in Algonquin and elsewhere.

What Causes Hammertoe?

Hammertoe has been linked to a number of different causes. One of the main causes is wearing certain types of shoes. For instance, women who wear high heels a lot might be more at risk of developing hammertoe. Footwear in which the toe box crowds your toes, in general, is also linked to hammertoe. The reason behind this is that your toes can’t lie flat. Wearing footwear that puts your toes in a curled position can cause your toes to sit in the same position even when barefoot. Another common cause of hammertoe is an injury to the toe. This includes breaking a toe or even stubbing or jamming it. Additionally, an abnormal balance of your toe muscles can cause this condition. Imbalance causes instability in the toe which can also cause it to contract. 

There are certain risk factors that increase your chances of developing hammertoe, including:

  • Age – The older you are, the more likely you are to develop hammertoe.
  • Toe length – If your second toe is longer than your big toe, you have a higher chance of developing hammertoe.
  • Sex – Women are more likely than men to develop this condition. 
  • Having certain diagnoses – Hammertoe occurs more often in people who have arthritis and diabetes.

pediatric podiatryHow to Fix Hammertoe

Since this condition can be so painful, you’re probably wondering how to fix hammertoe, such as with a hammer toe treatment in Algonquin if you live in the area. Your doctor might try non-surgical treatment before opting for surgical intervention. The first step is switching to proper footwear. This means you’ll want to start wearing loose or wide shoes. Orthotic shoe inserts can also help distribute your weight more evenly. This can remove stress from your toes. Since hammertoe progresses and eventually becomes painful, treatment is necessary. This condition will not simply go away on its own. And, if it becomes worse, you might end up needing surgery. For those who end up needing surgery for hammertoe correction, there are a few different options. 

Tendon Transfer

A tendon transfer is a procedure in which your surgeon pulls the toe into the right position. For those who have more flexible and less rigid hammertoes, this option works well. During this procedure, the surgeon will take a tendon near the hammertoe across the top of the joint. This allows the toe to be pulled into a straight position. Transferring a tendon helps with muscle weakness in the toe and alleviates pain.

Joint Resection

In a joint resection surgery, your doctor will cut tendons and ligaments to help straighten the toe. In this way, it is similar to a tendon transfer. However, your surgeon may also remove part of the toe’s bone and keep the toe in place with pins. This makes the joint resection surgery slightly more invasive than a tendon transfer. 


For those who have more rigid hammertoes, fusion surgery can help reduce rigidity. As the name of the procedure suggests, the doctor will remove parts of the joint and allow the bones to fuse together. This can help the toe straighten and alleviate pain. This procedure is more invasive than both joint resection and tendon transfer. 

Fixing a hammertoe through surgery is typically an outpatient procedure. However, it does usually take a few weeks for the patient to fully heal. What you can expect during recovery from hammertoe correction is not being able to walk by yourself. You might need a walker or crutches to get around. The good news is that after you undergo one of the types of hammertoe surgery, it’s very unlikely that you’ll suffer from hammertoe again. 

kids foot doctorHammertoe Treatment in Algonquin, IL

The health of your feet is incredibly important. It’s also important to identify and treat hammertoe early while it’s less rigid and more flexible. This is because if you end up needing surgery, it will be less invasive than if you wait. At Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois, we are dedicated to helping our patients get their lives back. Hammertoe correction surgery can quite literally get you back on your feet and doing the things you love the most. When you’re able to walk around without any pain, your quality of life skyrockets. Don’t let conditions like hammertoe keep you from living a full life. If you need hammertoe treatment in Algonquin, Huntley, Carpentersville, or the surrounding areas, visit our website. You can schedule an appointment to see a specialist online.

Written by Ali Hyderi