A hammertoe is a toe that tends to bend at the middle joint in a claw-like position. There are two different types of hammertoes, Flexible & Rigid Hammertoe. A flexible hammertoe can be straightened by hand. Rigid hammertoe cannot be pulled straight, this can cause it to be very painful. The position of the toe can lead to corns or calluses, which are also very painful.
The cause of a hammertoe may be present at birth or develop later in life due to tendons that have tightened up. This can cause the toe to curl downward. Some of the risk factors related to hammertoes would be:
- Foot and Ankle Abnormalities
- High Arch in foot
- Muscle weakness
- Nerve Damage
Immediate At-Home Relief
There are a handful of simple treatments that can be used daily to help diffuse some of the pain associated with Hammertoe, such as:
- Gently massaging the area
- Applying a cold compress
- Not wearing constraining shoes
Non-Surgical Hammertoe Treatment
Opting for non-surgical treatment would mean undergoing supportive care where the toe will need time to heal itself, by splinting the affected toe, or by switching to proper footwear to give those toes enough room. Here are a few examples:
- Foot physio exercises to rebalance foot muscles.
- Over-the-counter metatarsal pads
- Doctor prescribed cortisone injections
- Applying a toe splint
- Custom Orthotics
Surgical Hammertoe Treatment.
If you have explored non-surgical treatment and haven’t seen any positive results, the next step would be to consider surgery to straighten the joint. Tendons may be cut or transferred, or the middle joint of the toe can be fused together. This process will require some downtime but the outcome will yield great results.
Home Remedies Not Working? Visit Our Algonquin, IL, Location For Real Results!
The professionals at Foot And Ankle Specialists Of Illinois are experts in everything foot-related, call or book a consultation online with one of our specialists to learn more about what the best course of action is for you!