TREATMENTS: Hammertoe

TREATMENTS FOR YOUR FEET, ANKLES & LOWER LEGS

Many of our patients suffer from similar foot and ankle conditions; however, we treat each case uniquely. By understanding not only your podiatric disease, deformity, or other medical condition, but also your specific lifestyle needs, we can better create a course of treatment or recommend footwear that will help relieve your issues.

The complexity of the workings of your feet and ankles makes this a part of your body that may need significant attention, so we don’t rush you through treatment. At our office, we take the time to provide you with comprehensive foot care education and give you the treatment that you need and deserve.

HAMMERTOE


What is Hammertoe?

A hammer toe is a deformity of the joint of the second, third, or fourth toe causing it to be abnormal and permanent bend, approximating a hammer.

Hammertoe can be hereditary but are commonly caused by ill-fitting shoes. A hammertoe may result if a toe is too long and is forced into a cramped position when a tight shoe is worn. Hammertoes can cause problems with walking and can lead to other foot problems, such as blisters, calluses, and sores. Splinting and corrective footwear can help in treating hammertoes. In extreme cases, surgery to straighten the toe may be required.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

If you have hammertoe you may experience pain and irritation when wearing shoes. Yu may also find the area is inflamed, red and burning. Corns or calluses may form which are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending on their location.

In severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.

Hammertoes are an apparent foot problem and the doctor can usually diagnose a hammer toe during a physical exam. However to arrive at a diagnosis the Fort Myers foot and ankle specialist will obtain a thorough history of your symptoms and examine your foot. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, may be necessary if you’ve had a bone, muscle, or ligament injury in your toe.

It is important to know that hammertoes are a progressive matter, meaning they don’t go away by themselves and will tend to get worse over the course of time. Some hammertoes progress slowly and some more rapidly. Once your Fort Myers Foot Doctor has evaluated your hammertoes, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.

Hammertoe Treatment Fort Myers

What are considered non-surgical and conservative treatments include multiple padding options. Padding does not correct the toe but helps to lessen the symptoms. If padding does not work, surgery can be done to straighten the toe.

Here is a more complete list of solutions:

  • Change you footwear. Avoid shoes that are too short or have with pointed toes or shoes with high heels. Instead, choose sensible, comfortable shoes with a deep, roomy toebox and heels that are no higher than two inches max.
  • Padding corns and calluses. As mentioned above you could get some additional padding to help with your hammertoe treatment. You could try over-the-counter pads but you should avoid the medicated types. Medicated pads are generally not recommended because they often contain a small amount of acid that can be harmful. Your foot and ankle specialist can provide or prescribe pads designed to protect your corns from irritation.
  • Orthotic devices. A custom orthotic placed in your shoe may help control the tendon imbalance.
  • Medications. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Splinting/strapping. Splints or small straps may be applied by the surgeon to realign the bent toe.

In many cases, conservative treatments will work but sometimes surgery is required.

If you’re not able to flex your toe, surgery is most likely the only option to recover movement. Surgery will remove deformed or injured bone, reposition the toe, and realign your tendons. In most occurrences, you can return home on the day of your surgery.

The best preventative information we can give you is to find properly fitted shoes. Nothing too snug that would cause your feet to be cramped. Limit you wearing of high-heeled shoes (2 inches max) and make sure you have enough room in the toe box of your shoe.

Before you have issues with your feet, contact a foot specialist, like Dr. Joseph Campbell and Dr. Bradley Habuda who are experience with hammertoe treatments. So if you’re looking for the best hammertoe foot care in Fort Myers, contact us today.

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