Have you developed a hard and painful callus on the top of your toe? Does that toe bend abnormally? If so, you may be facing a condition called hammertoe. This condition simply means that the toe is deformed and turns downward like a claw, while the remaining healthy toes stay straight. Your shoes are not always shaped like your feet and that can be one of the biggest culprits of creating a hammertoe. The good news is that Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, our foot and ankle specialist, feels that a simple surgical procedure to correct the hammertoe could be the solution. But before you hop on the surgical table, there may be some other solutions that can help.
The non – surgical treatments:
Wear wider and more comfortable shoes to allow room for your toes
Try padding in your shoes to avoid rubbing
Ask about injection therapy to help with the pain
Foot exercises, such as extending your toes and curling them repeatedly to keep the muscles moving
The main causes of hammertoe:
A traumatic toe injury like a break or a bad sprain
Genetics – your parents may have passed it on to you
An unusual high foot arch
Stuffing your feet into a poorly-fitting shoe for a prolonged period of time
Tightened tendons or ligaments in your foot
Pressure from a bunion that continues to rub against your shoe
The types of hammertoe:
1. Flexible hammertoes are a milder condition and could potentially be fixed with other treatments since the toe is still flexible.
2. Rigid hammertoes are when the tendons in the toe become inflexible and prevent the toe from moving, usually requiring surgery.
The symptoms of hammertoe:
The toe in pain bends downward
You may have difficulty walking
Inability to flex your foot or wiggle your toes
You may develop corns or calluses
Claw-like toes which can be embarrassing
Although a hammertoe can be present at birth, it usually worsens with time due to some of the reasons mentioned above, but it is still treatable. Hammertoes can develop into a serious problem in people with diabetes or poor circulation. People with these conditions should call right away to discuss the possibilities of treatment or surgery. Call Gentle Professional Foot Care at 941-493-7999 to diagnose the severity of your condition and find the perfect treatment for you. We are conveniently located in Venice, Florida and can schedule an appointment today so your feet will be happy for the holidays!