Hammertoe: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention
Hammertoe is a condition in which one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes are abnormally bent (contracture). Commonly caused by a muscle or tendon imbalance – though hammertoes can be inherited or result from trauma – this condition usually starts out mild and slowly worsens over time.
Hammertoe Symptoms and Signs
• Pain or irritation when wearing shoes
• Burning sensation
• Contracture (bending) of the toe
• In more severe cases, open sores may form
Due to its progressive nature, hammertoes should receive treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated, hammertoes can become more rigid. If this is the case, non-surgical treatment is no longer an option.
Non-Surgical Treatment of Hammertoes includes:
Padding corns and calluses: Your podiatrist can either prescribe or provide you with a special pad designed to shield corns and prevent irritation.
Changes in shoewear: Shoes with pointed toes are strictly forbidden. The same goes for shoes that are too short or high heels. All three of these will force the toe against the front of the shoe, aggravating your condition.
Orthotic devices: Custom orthotics can be placed in your shoe to help control the muscle/tendon imbalance.
Injection therapy: Corticosteroid injections can be used to ease pain and inflammation.
Medications: Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
Splinting/strapping: Splints or straps may realign the affected toe.
If the hammertoe does not get better with non-surgical treatment and your condition worsens, surgery may be your last option.
If you have any other questions or wish to schedule an appointment, contact We Treat Feet Podiatry by clicking here to view our various locations and phone numbers!
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From heel pain, bunions, Sports medicine injuries, broken bones, neuromas, hammertoes, and flatfeet to Achilles tendon problems, we have the most modern technology available to help you, including digital x-ray, diagnostic ultrasound, and vascular testing equipment.
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Hammertoe Foot Health Facts