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Personal stories about surgery for hammer, claw, or mallet toes

These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.

Diane, age 54 : Others in my family have hammer toes, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised about getting one, especially after my doctor told me that wearing high-heeled shoes contributes to their development. I guess I didn't realize how much shoes can affect your feet. My doctor suggested wearing shoes with a lower heel and more room in the toes, as this could help my foot pain. I'm going to give up high heels and see if this helps with the pain. I don't really want to have surgery.

Franny, age 47 : I have a claw toe that is just killing me. The only time it doesn't hurt is when I'm barefoot, but I can't live my life like that. I gave up high heels and always wear the roomiest shoes possible, and it still hurts. I'm to the point where the pain is keeping me from doing things I used to do. I'm going to have surgery to relieve the pain.

Carlos, age 41 : I like to run 5 or 6 days a week. My hammer toe hurts when I run, but I have cut my running shoe so that my toe has room when I run. I also changed my work shoes to a softer leather that doesn't hurt my toe. I know I may need surgery in the future, but I've found a way to delay it for now.

Mary, age 50 : I waitress part-time to make extra money, and I also really enjoy interacting with the people at my job. The only bad part is that after a night on the job I have a hammer toe that really hurts. I've gone from high heels to lower heels, but I really can't do anything else because my boss doesn't want me in tennis shoes or something more comfortable. I guess I could quit, but I don't want to. My doctor tells me that surgery can help with my hammer toe, but it could come back if I keep wearing heels. I'm going to give surgery a try, talk to my boss again, and see what happens.

Author Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Michele Cronen
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Gavin W.G. Chalmers, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
Last Updated July 11, 2007

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 11, 2007
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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