If your toe doesn’t lie flat or you can’t straighten it out anymore, you may have a hammertoe. Hammertoes are a painful condition that create a bend in your toe. Kris Ford, DPM, and Jonathan Lorenzana, DPM, at South Alamo Foot & Ankle in San Antonio, Texas, offer treatment options for hammertoes to restore flexibility and help eliminate deformity. Call the practice or schedule an appointment online today.
Hammertoes are a deformity affecting one of the middle three toes. The condition causes a bend at the toe’s middle toe joint, giving it the shape of a hammer. If addressed soon after the condition develops, hammertoes are easily corrected, but they require surgery if left untreated for an extended length of time.
Hammertoes are painful, especially when you try to move your toe or wear shoes. In addition to causing pain, hammertoes make it challenging to walk and unable to straighten the toe or make it lie flat. Other symptoms of hammertoes include swelling and the formation of calluses or corns on the toe joint or tip of the toe.
Hammertoes are often the result of wearing ill-fitting shoes. High-heeled shoes with narrow toe areas put a lot of pressure against the toes. Wearing shoes that put your feet in that position too long frequently leave the toe muscles unable to straighten out.
There is a good chance that nonsurgical hammertoe treatments will work if you’ve recently noticed a problem with your toe. One suggestion is to wear wide shoes instead of narrow, high-heeled shoes for wider shoes, and perform exercises designed to strengthen and stretch your feet and toes.
If you’ve had hammertoe for a long time and your condition is severe, surgical treatment is likely. South Alamo Foot & Ankle may recommend surgical approaches such as:
Joint fusion surgery is the recommended treatment option for severe hammertoes. It involves removing a small part of your bone in the toe joint so the toe can extend fully, along with tendon lengthening. Your doctor inserts pins or plates to hold the bone in place until it fuses properly.
It takes an average of 12 weeks to recover from hammertoe surgeries.
Schedule an appointment online or call South Alamo Foot & Ankle if you experience pain in one or more of your toes and it has an unyielding bend at the joint. The sooner you seek treatment for hammertoes, the easier it is to treat, but the experienced team at South Alamo can help even if you require surgery.