The four small toes can all succumb to this progressive deformity that causes the toes to bend at the tips or mid joints into the shape of a hammer. Hammertoes tend to develop slowly but will only get worse over time without treatment. Wearers of high-heeled and other types of tight-fitting shoes are more susceptible to developing hammertoes due to the side pressure these shoes produce. Many instances of hammertoe can be minimized and treated with properly fitted footwear and custom orthotic inserts.
Some of the symptoms and co-occurring conditions of hammertoes may include the following:
- Inflammation, swelling, and redness from rubbing
- Pain and discomfort in your toes caused by your footwear
- Other toe deformities like bunions and overlapping toes are more likely to occur
- Painful corns often appear on the top of hammertoes
- Blisters caused by rubbing against the inside of your footwear are also common
Treatments for hammertoes include the following:
- Padding and orthotic shoe inserts— are used to isolate the hammertoe and treat corns. Metatarsal dome inserts lift the base of the hammertoe to help straighten it.
- Medications—Steroid injections can help reduce pain and stiffness but may have side effects.
- Splinting—to straighten the toe
- Surgery—In advanced cases the toe may be too rigid and surgery may be needed to adjust tendons and straighten the toe.
If you are suffering from painful hammertoes, contact your podiatrist for the proper treatment. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX (county of Dallas), is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries, and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.