If you love stylishly sculpted shoes, high heels, or shoes with pointed toes, you might eventually develop hammertoe if you wear them too often. At Permian Basin Foot and Ankle, located in Odessa, Midland, and Pecos, Texas, podiatrists Justin Brown, DPM, Joseph Morgan, DPM, and their team treat hammertoe using several different approaches. To find out more about hammertoe and its treatment, call your nearest Permian Basin Foot and Ankle office or book an appointment online today.
Hammertoe develops when the muscles and ligaments supporting your toes are imbalanced, causing your toes to remain in a curled or bent position permanently. This can happen because of poorly-fitted shoes, traumatic injuries, or just the natural structure of your foot.
Your middle three toes are the most likely to turn into hammertoes, but the condition can affect any of them. You might have just one hammertoe or several, and they can affect one or both of your feet. Women are more likely than men to develop hammertoe because they tend to wear tighter, pointier, and heeled styles of footwear.
If you have hammertoe, you might find it difficult to flex your toes or move your foot in certain ways. Your toes can rub against each other or against the sides of your footwear, causing calluses and corns to form. These can be painful, so you might seek treatment for hammertoe once this happens. Generally, hammertoe by itself isn't painful and doesn't require treatment.
Permian Basin Foot and Ankle offers several nonsurgical solutions for severe hammertoe that causes pain or develops calluses, corns, or open sores. The team might recommend an X-ray or other imaging test to assess the severity of your hammertoe and decide which treatment suits your case best. Treatment options for hammertoe include:
Using protective padding for the corns and calluses caused by hammertoe can help relieve irritation and prevent sores from forming if you don’t yet have them.
Anti-inflammatory medications can ease some of your irritation.
Specialized splints or straps can help realign the muscles and ligaments contributing to hammertoe.
You can wear custom orthotics from the team at Permian Basin Foot and Ankle to help rebalance the muscles and ligaments in your hammertoes.
Steroid injections can help relieve inflammation and pain associated with hammertoe.
In some rare cases, the team at Permian Basin Foot and Ankle might recommend a surgical correction for hammertoe. If open sores form on your toes or if they’re especially rigid and painful, surgery can safely align them. If you have other complications with your feet, like bunions, the team can treat them during the same procedure.
If your hammertoes are uncomfortable or develop painful sores and calluses, call Permian Basin Foot and Ankle or book an appointment online today.