Tuesday, 14 September 2021 00:00

Why Treating a Hammertoe Promptly Is Important

Hammertoes are deformities occurring in toes (other than the big toe) where the joint at the base of the toe points up and the middle joint points down. This deformity causes a hammer-like appearance in the affected toe. Hammertoes form over time, and are often the result of wearing shoes that are too short for the foot, pointed at the toes, or have heels that are too high. Other contributing factors may include having a bunion or other condition that squeezes the toes into an unnatural, compacted position. A podiatrist may be able to straighten a hammertoe if they can treat it while it is still flexible. Once a hammertoe becomes rigid, a surgical intervention may be necessary to straighten the toe and return it to its normal range of motion. Call a podiatrist right away if you suspect a hammertoe is developing, in order to increase your chances of having it straightened before it becomes rigid.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Cathy A. Cimaglia from Cimaglia Foot Care. Dr. Cimaglia will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Oakland and Cumberland, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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