Hammertoes are a toe deformity that results from a tendon and muscle imbalance. It is thought to be an inherited anomaly and is often made worse by wearing high heeled shoes. An injury to the toe or complications from arthritis can also cause this condition. Wearing shoes that are properly fitted and that provide proper arch support can help prevent the formation of hammertoes.
Hammertoes don’t get better all by themselves, so you have to take some proactive steps to alleviate any pain and discomfort. Your podiatrist can help develop an appropriate treatment plan to deal with your hammertoe issues.
5 excellent hammertoe treatments include:
- Wear the right shoes—Shoes with enough room in the toe box will help relieve the pressure that is pushing on the toe.
- Proper alignment—Splints and braces can be used to move the bent toes into a straight position.
- Cortisone and other meds—Steroid injections and anti-inflammatory meds such as ibuprofen will reduce pain and swelling.
- Stretching and flexibility exercises—These exercises that work with your toes can help increase strength and flexibility.
- Custom orthotics—Specially made shoe inserts can help correct the imbalance between the muscles and ligaments that are causing the toe to bend.
Hammertoes that have become very rigid or painful may need surgery, so see your foot care specialist as soon as possible. At Your Next Step, we have a dedicated team of board-certified podiatrists who can help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen treat conditions like sports injuries, arthritis, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Visit our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA for high-quality foot and ankle care. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment with our foot doctors.