Hammertoe is a deformity that develops because of your foot’s structure, the shoes you wear, and some diseases. At Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists, the experienced team offers treatments that can reduce the pain and pressure of hammertoe. Call the office in Bradenton, University Park, or Ellenton, Florida, today or request your visit online.
Hammertoe describes a toe that’s abnormally bent or curled. It’s caused by an imbalance in the muscles and ligaments that hold the toe in a naturally straight position. A foot injury like a hard stub or toe jam, consistently wearing high heels or pointy-toed shoes, and some diseases lead to the physical imbalances that cause hammertoe.
Hammertoe usually affects the second, third, and fourth toes and is noticeable at the joint closest to the toenail. You might find it difficult to flex or move your toes normally. The toes are more vulnerable to calluses and corns because they rub against each other.
The pain of hammertoe is caused by the pressure of the toes pushing against each other.
Women are more likely than me to develop hammertoe because of their shoe choices, but anyone can experience it. You’re also more likely to develop the condition as you get older and if your second toe is longer than your big toe. People with arthritis are also vulnerable to it.
Cortez Foot & Ankle offers conservative treatments first, especially if your hammertoe is causing only minor pain and discomfort. Treatment choices include custom-molded orthotics (shoe inserts) to reduce pressure on the affected toes. Switching to roomier, more comfortable shoes is also a good idea.
Physical therapy that includes exercises using your toes can also help. You’ll learn to use your toes to pick up small objects or crumple a towel to stretch and strengthen your toe muscles.
Over-the-counter medications and corticosteroid injections can help when the pain of hammertoe makes it hard to walk or stand.
Surgery isn’t the first course of treatment. It can, however, be necessary if you suffer from severe hammertoe that’s causing open sores or is especially painful. The podiatrists at Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists provide the procedure at their Bradenton office’s surgery center.
The surgery releases the tendon that’s preventing the toe from lying flat. In severe cases, your surgeon will remove a piece of bone to allow your toe to lie in a normal position.
If you’re suffering from painful hammertoe, contact Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists to find out about your treatment options. Call today or request an appointment online.