In most cases, yes, you will need a surgical procedure to correct a hammertoe, in the sense of permanently resetting a bent digit in its correct alignment. Once digits start to bend, you can’t really coax them back to stay in their original place any other way.
However, surgery is not always necessary to treat a hammertoe. In the earliest stages where the deformity in less severe and the joint is still flexible and posable, conservative treatments may provide the necessary pain relief to get you through your activities without limitation or discomfort, as well as slow or halt further progression of the hammertoe. Such measures may include changing shoes or shoe modifications, medications, padding, taping, splinting, physical therapy, or custom orthotics.
A thorough evaluation at Massapequa Podiatry Associates will help determine which treatment methods would be recommended in your situation. The earlier you seek treatment, the greater the number of options available to you. To make an appointment, please call 516-541-9000.