Comprehensive Care

At MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, our experienced foot and ankle surgeons perform thousands of surgeries each year, including hammer toe surgery. We pride ourselves on offering the least invasive surgical options to allow our patients to recover quickly from surgery and return to their regular lives faster. Our surgeons take the time to explain your unique condition and walk you through your treatment from beginning to end. Our specialists will always encourage non-surgical options when possible and recommend surgical options only when necessary.

What is hammer toe?

It refers to a common foot deformity that affects the three middle toes of the foot, making them appear to be bent. The condition can be incredibly painful and may cause discomfort when walking or participating in sports. In cases where the deformity causes you severe pain or the inability to wear normal shoes, surgery may be recommended to correct the deformity. There are two types:

  • Flexible hammer toe – When the hammer toe is in the early stages, it can still move and is flexible. This type may be correctable with conservative treatment options.
  • Rigid hammer toe – When the tendons are rigid, they push the joint out of its normal alignment and prevent the toe from moving and usually needs surgery to correct the problem.

What are the causes?

Below are most common causes:

  • Wearing excessively tight shoes
  • Genetic structural abnormalities
  • Foot arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation
  • Toe injuries

What are the symptoms?

It is important to visit an orthopedic specialist if you are suffering from any of these symptoms:

  • Pain at the top of your toes
  • Crooked toes
  • Rubbing on the top of your toes in shoes, resulting in blisters or corns
  • Difficulty or pain when moving the toes
  • Pain on the ball of the foot
  • Swelling in the toe joints
  • Redness in the toe joints

How is it diagnosed?

At the first signs, it is important to speak with a foot and ankle specialist. MedStar Orthopaedic Institute is home to experts in a wide range of conditions who have years of experience diagnosing and treating hammer toe. Your initial exam will likely include the following:

  • Medical history evaluation – Your physician will discuss your medical history with you and any relevant prior toe injuries or foot pain.
  • Physical exam – Your doctor will evaluate the affected toes and may ask you questions about where and when you are feeling pain or discomfort.
  • Imaging tests – Your orthopedist will also likely conduct imaging studies to rule out a broken toe and accurately diagnose your foot condition.

What are the best treatment options?

If you are suffering from hammer toe that is still flexible and in early stages, you may be able to treat it using conservative options. We may recommend any of the following options for treatment without surgery:

  • Orthotics
  • Wearing shoes that fit properly across the toes and are not too tight
  • Avoiding wearing high heels
  • Hammer toe pads
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Stretch therapy
  • Ice to reduce pain or swelling

 

If you believe you may be suffering from hammer toe, call 202-295-0511 to schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic specialists at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute. Our doctors have years of experience diagnosing and treating foot and ankle conditions and are pleased to offer comprehensive foot care in the Washington, D.C. area.

Our Specialists

Foot & Ankle

Nicholas D. Casscells, MD
Nicholas D. Casscells, MD
Foot & Ankle Surgery

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Chevy Chase
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute - Lafayette Centre
Paul Stuart Cooper, MD
Paul Stuart Cooper, MD
Foot & Ankle Surgery

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Francis X. McGuigan, MD
Francis X. McGuigan, MD
Foot & Ankle Surgery

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

General Orthopedics

John P. Byrne, MD
John P. Byrne, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lake Ridge
Dennis A. Carlini, MD
Dennis A. Carlini, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lorton
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf
Shaun Kumar Khosla, MD
Shaun Kumar Khosla, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lake Ridge
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Lorton
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
Bruce Robert Knolmayer, MD
Bruce Robert Knolmayer, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
Kevin McMahon, MD
Kevin McMahon, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
Edward C. Rabbitt, MD
Edward C. Rabbitt, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf
Jeffrey D. Sabloff, MD
Jeffrey D. Sabloff, MD
General Orthopedic Surgery

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Alexandria
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Brandywine
MedStar Orthopaedic Institute – Waldorf

Locations

3800 Reservoir Road Northwest Washington, DC, 20007
Phone: 202-444-8766
18109 Prince Philip Drive, Suite 325 Olney, MD, 20832
Phone: 301-774-8958
1120 20th Street Northwest, Building 1 South Washington, DC, 20036
Phone: 202-416-2000
13950 Brandywine Road, 2nd Floor Brandywine, MD, 20613
Phone: 301-856-1682
5454 Wisconsin Avenue, 11th Floor Chevy Chase, MD, 20815
Phone: 301-215-9423
6355 Walker Lane, Suite 501 Alexandria, VA, 22310
Phone: 703-971-3701
12825 Minnieville Road, Suite 203 Woodbridge, VA, 22192
Phone: 703-971-3701
11325 Pembrooke Square, Suite 115 Waldorf, MD, 20603
Phone: 301-856-1682