Do you have a toe that curls downward instead of pointing forward? If so, you might have a hammertoe
Hammer toe is a very frequent problem podiatrist see. They can cause all sorts of problems, including pain from rubbing against your shoe, or pain from one hammer toe rubbing against another toe. A hammertoe is a toe that is not straight, but rather curled or contracted; which can cause painful problems when the deformity presents.
So what causes a hammer toe? In most cases, hammer toes are simply caused by an imbalance between the flexor tendons, which pulls the toes down while the extensor tendons pull the toes up. It’s sort of a moot point, because in most cases there’s really nothing known that can help correct this imbalance. There are very rare cases however when neurological problems could be part of the issue. A classic example is somebody that has a drop foot (they’re unable to pull their foot up). This can be associated with problems such as neuropathy. If this is the case, there are situations where if you can correct this nerve problem, which is primarily done surgically, then the hammer toe could be corrected. However, these are more rare cases.
Treatments patients can do on their own consists of wearing shoes that accommodate their toes more. Oftentimes, especially on the second or third toes, a digit of the knuckle is sticking up above the others and rubbing against the shoes, which can cause corn or simple irritation of the skin. Patients could also try padding the area of the shoe, but in many cases this becomes more of a hassle as shoe gear becomes more limited. Surgical correction may be easier as the benefit to risk ratio is very high. In most cases, patients are able to walk immediately afterwards and return to regular shoe gear within two to three weeks. If you’re tired of trying all kinds of shoes and frustrated with your limitations, it may be time to look into a longer term solution. It may not be the shoe that is the problem but your foot.
The doctors at Anderson Podiatry Center are experts in diagnosing and treating hammertoes.
Our varied and affordable treatment options for hammertoes include:
- Custom orthotics or padding
- Cortisone injections, to reduce inflammation
- Splinting or strapping
- Reconstructive surgery
If hammertoes are causing you pain or affecting your daily life, it’s time to get back on your feet.
- Long-lasting relief is our goal
- Most insurance plans accepted
- Medicare-certified, state-of the art-surgery center