When you buy a pair of shoes for the first time, you make absolutely sure that they fit properly without discomfort. Therefore, when you begin to feel some toe pain and observe the formation of corns, you might suspect that you are suffering from a hammertoe. Hammertoe occurs when an imbalance in the tendons of a toe causes it to contract and point downward instead of straight out. Hammertoes may be flexible at first, but slowly become rigid and locked over time.
Fortunately, a hammertoe does not have to be a lifelong problem. Here are the three main types of treatment for hammertoe:
1. Preventative: Preventative treatment is geared towards eliminating the cause of the hammertoe. Functional orthotics help correct abnormal foot motion, causing flexible hammertoes to straighten out over time. Calf stretches also help to strengthen the muscles in the feet.
2. Symptomatic: Symptomatic treatment deals with the pain and discomfort associated with a hammertoe, like corns and calluses. This might consist of wearing pads or open-toed shoes. Under a doctor’s supervision, medication or cream might be advised.
3. Curative: Curative treatment involves taking steps to correct a hammertoe that does not respond to other treatment, and usually requires some sort of surgical procedure. Depending on the severity of the hammertoe, the procedure may range from a tendon release to an excision of bone near the rigid joint. Recovery is generally quick, but depends on the individual case.
It is important to recognize a hammertoe in its earlier stages, when preventative treatment might be able to correct the problem. However, the doctors at the Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston can treat the full range of hammertoes and provide both surgical and non-surgical solutions. They can treat the corns and calluses related to hammertoes, in addition to other foot and ankle ailments such as heel pain, plantar warts, and more. With six offices in the North Houston area, treatment should be convenient to everyone! If you have any questions, or wish to make an appointment, contact us or call us at (281) 444-4114.