Mild hammer toe in children can be treated by manipulating and splinting the affected toe.
The following changes in footwear may help relieve symptoms:
- Wear the right size shoes or shoes with wide toe boxes for comfort, and to avoid making hammer toe worse.
- Avoid high heels as much as possible.
- Wear soft insoles to relieve pressure on the toe.
- Protect the joint that is sticking out with corn pads or felt pads
A foot doctor can make foot devices called hammer toe regulators or straighteners for you, or you can buy them at the store.
Exercises may be helpful. You can try gentle stretching exercises if the toe is not already in a fixed position. PIcking up a towel with your toes can help stretch and straighten the small muscles in the foot.
For severe hammer toe, you will need an operation to straighten the joint.
- The surgery often involves cutting or moving tendons and ligaments.
- Sometimes the bones on each side of the joint need to be connected (fused) together.
Most of the time, you will go home on the same day as the surgery. The toe may still be stiff afterward, and it may be shorter.
If the condition is treated early, you can often avoid surgery. Treatment will reduce pain and walking difficulty.
- Foot deformity
- Posture changes caused by difficulty in walking
Calling your health care provider
If you have hammer toe, call for an appointment with your health care provider:
- To get instructions on the best treatment
- If your pain gets worse
- If you have
Review Date: 10/31/2010
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.