Characterized by a bend in one or both joints of any but the big toe, hammertoe is a common podiatry issue. In early stages the toe can still be extended, but will be bent upward in its resting state. If left untreated, however, the condition will worsen progressively.
Signs and Symptoms
Hammertoe is typically straightforward to identify on a simple physical examination. Symptoms include:
- A contracted toe or toes.
- Corns between toes or on the top, side or end of the affected toes. Corns are a buildup of skin caused by friction at the contact point between the toe and shoe.
- Calluses on the bottom of toes or on the ball of the foot. Calluses are rough, dry patches of dead skin that has built up.
- Pain or irritation when the toes come into contact with the shoe.
Hammertoes and their symptoms generally worsen over time, as the friction between the foot and footwear becomes more severe. Over time, they can become rigid, and open sores may form.
If you are suffering from hammertoes, it is important to seek help sooner rather than later, as they will not heal without treatment. Treatment options include:
- Changing footwear
- Padding the corns and calluses that form
- Trimming the corns and calluses
- Custom orthotics
- Anti inflammatory medications
- Splinting the affected toe.
Surgery may also be recommended in more severe cases.
You don’t need to suffer with hammertoes. Contact our office today, and we can begin down the road to treatment with you!
Hammertoe Correction (PIP Joint Arthroplasty)
This surgical procedure is used to correct a hammertoe, a deformity of the toe that causes the toe to become permanently frozen in a bent position. During this procedure, a small piece of bone is removed to shorten the toe and allow it to straighten.