Hammertoes are common in the foot world. That shouldn’t, however, make them customary. In their initial development, hammertoes are flexible and can unbend if pressure is applied to the toe’s joint. Conversely, a hammertoe can become very stiff and almost impossible to bend without surgery if left untreated.
This condition is caused in part by forces and rubbing on the toes from improper footwear. This produces an imbalance of the tendons that adjust the straightening and bending mechanism of the toes. Moreover, this condition can also be caused by dropping heavy objects onto the foot or bumping the foot into heavy and stationary objects with great force.
Treatment for this condition involves:
· Utilizing footwear that is wide and not tight.
· Wearing custom orthotics to provide support where needed.
· Physical therapy to lessen the tension in tendons and to train the muscles of the toe to function normally.
· Using anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling caused by structural irregularities of the toes.
· Surgery may, unfortunately, be required when the methods referenced above are unsuccessful. Surgical procedures act to relax the tendons or to provide them with support. Additionally, surgery may be used to fuse bones to correct the hammertoe, remove the expanded bone and return the toe alignment at the damaged joint back to its optimal position. Recovery subsequent to surgery may require a month or longer.
Hammertoes are not impossible to treat but should be done early on to avoid complications. Therefore, please contact us if you have this condition. Here at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC, located in Waterbury 203-755-0489 & Newtown 203-270-6724, Connecticut, our podiatrist, Dr. Joel S. Segalman, DPM, will be able to provide quality care to fix your feet! Please make an appointment today by calling our office at any of the two numbers listed above.