Posts for tag: Hammertoes
Hammertoes are common podiatric deformities which may involve all the toes except the big toe. At University Foot Center in Columbus, OH your foot doctors, Dr. Steventon Scott Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl, treat hammertoes as soon as they detect them, preventing further damage and possible immobility.
You're not born with hammertoes
Hammertoes are contractures or a stiffening and bending of the second, third, fourth and fifth toes of either foot. Developing from traumatic injury or a combination of heredity, gait imbalance, and tight shoes, hammertoe deformities make toes look like little mallets. The bending and curling causes additional friction against the inside of the shoes, and thick corns and calluses may form.
Early intervention helps limit the severity of hammertoes. Left alone for too long, the toe joints may become so rigid that the toes hurt and impair walking.
Seeing a change?
If you suspect the shape of your toes is changing, please see your foot doctor at University Foot Center in Columbus. Dr. Wagner or Dr. Mehl will look at your feet, watch you walk, check the flexibility of the toe joints and take digital X-ray images to inspect the joints.
While hammertoes do worsen with time, this deterioration can be managed--usually conservatively without surgical intervention. Your podiatrist will put together a treatment plan suited to your activity level, age, overall health and other factors so your hammertoes stabilize. You will feel better and walk better, too.
Treatments may include:
- Custom-made shoe inserts (also called orthotics) which cushion feet and normalize gait
- Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
- In-office corn and callus removal and/or use of padding in the shoe to reduce friction and irritation
- Recommendations on your best style of footwear (heels no high than two inches, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and also ample room in the toe box)
Find out more
People can live well with hammertoes and other acquired deformities of the foot and ankle. Your foot doctors at University Foot Center are happy to help. Why not call the office today for your examination and consultation with Dr. Wagner or Dr. Mehl? Phone (614) 488-9478.
Find out if your foot deformity could actually be a hammertoe.
Have you noticed that your toes are starting to look more bent or curled than usual? This could be a sign of hammertoes. A hammertoe happens when the muscles of the feet are weak or imbalanced, which causes certain tendons in the feet to shorten and the affected toes to bend. Our Columbus, OH, podiatrists Dr. Steventon Wagner and Dr. Lynette Mehl are here to tell you more about hammertoes and why you shouldn’t just ignore the issue.
There are two kinds of hammertoes: flexible and rigid. In the beginning stages, hammertoes are flexible. This means that you are able to straighten out the toe and move the toe. If the hammertoe becomes rigid it means that the joint is immovable.
What causes hammertoes?
There are many factors that can lead to this muscular imbalance in the feet include:
- Wearing tight or poorly fitted shoes (a common factor)
- An injury to the foot
What are the symptoms of hammertoes?
Besides the obvious sign that the affected toe will be bent or curled under, those with a hammertoe may also notice:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Difficulty or discomfort when moving the affected toe
- Pain when wearing shoes
- A corn on the top of the toe
When should you turn to a doctor?
It’s important to call our Columbus, OH, foot doctors if you are experiencing pain or other symptoms that could mean that you have a hammertoe. The sooner you seek care and treatment the better. By offering up simple measures you can take everyday to improve foot hygiene we could prevent the hammertoe from progressing into a rigid joint.
By avoiding heels and only wearing shoes that give your toes enough room to move around you could prevent this condition from getting worse. You can also apply a protective pad over the hammertoe to prevent it from rubbing against shoes.
If the hammertoe is rigid or isn’t responding to these conservative measures then surgery may be the only option for correcting the deformity.
If you are dealing with foot problems it’s important that you turn to the University Foot Center in Columbus, OH, for help. Whether you are dealing with a rigid hammertoe or bunions, we can provide you with the care you need.
Not sure how you developed painful hammertoes? Dr. Steventon Scott Wagner and Dr. Lynette Renae Mehl, your Columbus, OH podiatrists, explain how hammertoes form and share information about the condition.
What are hammertoes?
Hammertoes generally occur when the first or second joint of a toe bends at a right angle. The condition is called "hammer" toe because the bent toe looks a little like a hammer. Hammertoes can affect all of your toes except your big toe. When hammertoes first develop, they're flexible and usually respond well to treatment. If you ignore them during this stage, they can eventually become rigid, which makes treating them more challenging.
What causes hammertoes?
Hammertoes can occur if you have an inherited imbalance in the muscles or tendons of your toes. They can also develop if you have arthritis in your toes, previously injured your toes or wear shoes that are too tight. Too tight shoes place pressure on your joints causing them to bend. Imbalances also cause increased joint pressure that can lead to hammertoes.
What are the symptoms of hammertoes?
In addition to a visible bend in your toe, you may also experience pain, redness or swelling. Wearing shoes can be uncomfortable and can cause corns and calluses if the top of your hammertoe rubs against the top of your shoe.
What can I do about my hammertoe?
Toe exercises will help stretch your muscles and tendons and prevent the hammertoe from becoming permanent. Wearing shoes with plenty of room in the toe area will reduce pain and pressure. If you have corns or calluses, padding can make wearing shoes more comfortable. Ice and over-the-counter pain medications may be helpful in relieving pain caused by hammertoes.
If your hammertoe doesn't improve, your Columbus foot doctor can help you by:
- Prescribing anti-inflammatory medication or offering cortisone injections
- Fitting you with orthotics, custom-made shoe inserts that support your toes and ease your pain
- Performing surgery if your problem is severe and other treatment methods don't help
You don't have to live with hammertoes. Call Dr. Wagner and Dr. Mehl, your Columbus, OH podiatrists, at (614) 488-9478 to schedule an appointment to learn about the best treatment options for you.