Hammertoes, like many foot and ankle issues, can start out as a relatively minor issue, but can become exceedingly painful if left unaddressed. Here at Synergy Foot and Ankle, we can assess the severity of your hammertoes, and create a plan that sees you managing the issue.
Correcting Your Hammertoes at Synergy Foot and Ankle
Hammer toes can impact one or more toes on either foot and are typically characterized by a toe that bends upwards in its middle joint. This is typically caused by an imbalance in the tendons and ligaments within your foot, causing them to pull on your toe and lock it in the aforementioned “hammertoe” position. If the problem is caught early on, your hammertoes can be managed with more conservative treatments. When more serious problems present themselves, our talented surgical team is ready to help you find the relief you’re looking for.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can handle your hammertoes and get back to living your life to the fullest, our team is here and ready to help. Reach out to our McKinney location and set up your consultation with a member of our team today.
What Is a Hammertoe?
A hammertoe is a deformity of the toe that results in a curling and downward bend/contracture of the toes. This can be seen at birth, but often develops later on in life, and typically causes pain at the tips of the toes or irritation at the top of the toes from rubbing on shoes.
Women tend to get hammertoes more frequently than men, thanks to differences in footwear, but it’s also commonly seen in diabetics and others who have circulation issues that can cause problems with the feet and ankles. Hammertoes can also be caused by an injury, the consistent use of ill-fitting shoes, or as a reaction to arthritis.
Common Symptoms of Hammertoes
During your consultation, we’ll examine your feet closely and help you figure out exactly what issue is causing you discomfort. Hammertoes are typically quite simple to address with a simple visual examination, and often present the following easy-to-spot symptoms:
- Downward bending of toes (claw-like toes)
- Corns or calluses noted at the tip or on top of the toes
- Pain when walking
- Decreased mobility of the toes
Getting You Back on Your Feet
Treatment for hammertoes may be conservative to decrease the pain and irritation caused by the deformity. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary, but we’ll go with more conservative approaches whenever possible. Let’s take a look at some of the ways we can help you deal with your hammertoes.
By changing your footwear and choosing an option with more room for your toes to flex and bend, you can better support the entire foot and ease your hammer toe problems. Custom orthotics can also go a long way towards correcting this imbalance.
If your toes are still flexible enough and the problem has not progressed too significantly, certain exercises can help you strengthen and condition the muscles in your feet. Picking up marbles with your toes and other exercises can help.
Pads, Splints, and Wraps
While these solutions won’t reverse your condition, there are lots of ways to mitigate the discomfort it can cause. Pads and wraps can help to reduce the friction on your toes, and gel-lined socks can also help to ease your pain.
When hammer toes have progressed to the point where they’re causing serious discomfort, surgical intervention might be recommended. Surgically releasing the tendons is the only way to completely reverse this condition.
Live a Life Free from Pain
If you’re feeling as though hammer toes are keeping you from living the active and fulfilled life you deserve, the talented team at Synergy Foot and Ankle is here to help. Our team has extensive experience with a wide variety of issues affecting the foot and ankle, so we’ll help you assess your issue and create a treatment plan that sees you feeling your absolute best, no matter what the problem may be.
When you’re ready to learn more, simply reach out to our McKinney location and set up your consultation with a member of the Synergy Foot and Ankle staff!