Normally, the toes should be straight. However, if any of your toes bend downward at the middle joint instead of straight ahead, you might have a hammertoe. But you don’t have to worry because there is an effective treatment for the condition. At Precision Footcare, John Jurcisin, a board certified foot surgeon New York, NY, is experienced in treating hammertoes using conservative measures or surgery as required. Contact the office or use the online scheduling tool to schedule an appointment.
What Exactly Is Hammertoes?
Hammertoes refers to a deformity that often affects your second, third, or fourth toes. Rather than pointing straight ahead, a toe with this condition will curl down at the middle joint, making the finger look like a hammer. Hammertoes usually result from improper footwear. You should wear a shoe with sufficient toe box for your toes to rest fully flat comfortably. Hammertoes might develop if your shoes don’t have enough space and crowd your toes.
Tight shoes, including high heels, can also make your toes get into a bent position. In the long run, your toes might get used to staying bent to remain in this position even when you are not in shoes. Other risk factors that contribute to the development of hammertoe include; foot injuries, arthritis, high arches, and nerve damage.
What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Hammertoe?
The obvious sign of hammertoe is that your toe will point downward instead of straight ahead. Hammertoes are mild during the early stages but worsen over time if not treated. During the initial stages, your toe is bent but flexible, so you can still move it at the joint. Over time, hammertoes become rigid, so you cannot move them and remain stuck in this position. The hammertoe might be red, swollen, or painful. The symptoms normally worsen when you wear shoes and might start developing pain at your football.
Hammertoes often go together with other foot issues. You might get a hammertoe if you have a bunion that exerts extra pressure on your other toes. As hammertoes tend to rub against your shoes, developing a callus or corn on the joint is common.
What Should You Expect During Hammertoes Treatment?
Hammertoes are easy to treat during their early stages when they are still flexible. If you notice any changes to the flexibility, appearance, or toe alignment, book an appointment!
If your hammertoe is still flexible, the board-certified surgeon might recommend conservative treatments such as shoes with roomy, soft toe boxes, cushions, straps, or corn pads to decrease pressure on the toe and ease the symptoms. He might also file down any calluses or corns you might have developed due to the hammertoe or recommend doing toe exercises. However, if you experience a stiff hammertoe that does not heal through conservative measures, you might need surgery to treat the abnormality. A surgery is executed through minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques and can help strengthen the joint and ease your pain.
Ultimately, don’t struggle with hammertoes or wait for the condition to get worse. Find expert surgeon experienced in treating hammertoes and other foot care procedures in and around New York. Call or schedule an appointment today to get started.