Hammertoes sound like a made-up problem, right? They’re anything but- any there are far more people affected than you may think.

“We’re seeing a number of patients, usually women, who come in with complaints about rubbing on the tops of their toes when they wear shoes,” says Dr. Leff. “A major contributor wearing inappropriate shoes, like high heels, but it can happen to anyone. Over time, by wearing shoes that pinch the toe box and sort of bunch up the toes, you’ll form what some affectionately refer to as ‘bird claws’. Basically, your toes won’t lay flat anymore, even in a shoeless resting position.”

Podiatrist Randy Leff recommends that if you have the following symptoms, you make an appointment with a podiatrist immediately.

  • Pain or irritation of the toes when wearing shoes, sometime causing blistering on the tops of the toes
  • Corns or calluses on the toes or between the toes
  • Inflammation, redness, irritation
  • Contracture of the toes
  • Noticable points of damage on toe tops or ‘knuckles’

If caught early, there are many non-invasive treatments for hammertoes. However, if left alone the problem becomes worse, and will result in a deformity of the foot. When that happens, your best option is a visit to a foot surgeon like Dr. Leff. Surgery will taken into account past treatments and severity of the deformity, and can create exceptional results that are functional, pain free, and aesthetically pleasing.

For further information about heel pain, contact Dr. Leff’s Southfield podiatrist to schedule an appointment.