Treatment of Hammer Toes at the Confraternität Private Hospital

When should you see a specialist?

Hammer toes usually affect the second, third and fourth toe and are characterized by their characteristic shape. The base joint of the toe is hyperextended and the end joint is flexed to the maximum. The effects of the malposition are perceived differently by those affected.

If you are struggling with the following complaints, we recommend that you see a specialist:

  • Pain and swelling of the toes, especially when walking in closed shoes
  • Corns
  • Displacement of the other toes
  • Unattractive toe shape

How does hammer toe develop and what are the symptoms?

One of the most common causes of hammer toes are existing foot deformities such as hallux valgus, splayfoot or flatfoot. Hammer toes occur particularly frequently in connection with wearing shoes that are too tight or too small with high heels. Neurological diseases, rheumatoid arthritis or accidents can also promote the development of toe misalignments.

The symptoms can be very different, depending on the severity and the presence of other foot deformities. Shoes that are too tight often lead to pain. If severe hammer toes are not treated properly, this can lead to a dislocation in the metatarsophalangeal joint as well as displacement of the other toes, which affects the entire foot balance.

Diagnostics and treatment options

Due to their typical deformation, complaints caused by hammer toes can be quickly clarified. There are two forms of hammer toe - flexible and rigid. A hammer toe is flexible when it starts to develop, i.e. the curvature of the toe can be compensated by hand. Without treatment it may become rigid.

Treatment options of hammer toes

Conservative therapies can be applied when the toe is still flexible, these include footwear changes, orthopedic shoe inserts, toe exercises. If nonsurgical treatment does not alleviate symptoms or the hammer toe becomes rigid surgery is recommended.  

Surgical treatment of hammer toes

The exact surgical procedure depends on various factors, including the type and extent of the deformity and the presence of other possible deformities, the correction of which is also included in the surgical planning.

Operations on the forefoot are usually performed under sedation, i.e. without general anesthesia. You can put full weight on your foot one day of the operation. A special shoe should be worn for a few weeks. Remedial gymnastics can help to quickly regain full mobility.

At the Confraternität Private Hospital, our team of experienced foot experts clarifies changes and pain in the forefoot and offers conservative and surgical treatment options as well as individual therapies based on the latest research results. Appointments are flexible and available without waiting.

Please contact us for further information or appointments!


Confraternität Private Hospital

Skodagasse 32
1080 Vienna • Austria

T: +43 1 401 14-5873

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