Are one or more of your small toes bending at the joint?
A fairly common foot deformity that affects the joints of smaller toes and causes them to bend, hammertoes can be painful and cause other foot conditions (such as bunions) to flourish. However, bunions don’t always cause obvious problems in their initial stages, causing many people to not even notice the issue before it starts negatively affecting their podiatric health. Read on to learn more about hammertoes, and call our Naperville, IL, foot doctor, Dr. Nancy Jagodzinski, if you think that you may have developed this condition.
Signs and Symptoms of a Hammertoe
This condition is caused when smaller toes bend at the joint, thus making them appear somewhat claw-like rather than straight. As a result, a corn or callus may develop on the toe due to friction or pressure placed on the deformed joint when wearing shoes.
A hammertoe falls into two categories: flexible and rigid. A flexible hammertoe means that you will still be able to move and straighten the toe; however, over time the tendons may tighten until the toe is permanently bent (rigid).
Preventing a Hammertoe
You can prevent a hammertoe from developing by wearing appropriate shoes that provide a wide toe box and a low heel. Shoes that are laced up can also be adjusted, providing your feet with more room if necessary. Consequently, it’s important that you get fitted with the right shoes, no matter whether they are for work or athletics.
Treating a Hammertoe
If you just found out that you had a hammertoe, the goal is to slow the deformity’s progression. Again, the best way to do this is to wear the appropriate shoes that don’t bunch up toes or put pressure on the bunion. Additionally, you can apply a non-medicated bunion pad over the joint to prevent a callus or corn from developing when wearing shoes. Sometimes our Naperville foot doctor will prescribe custom shoe inserts, or orthotics, which can provide additional padding and support for your feet.
If conservative care doesn’t provide you with relief, then surgery may be recommended. Of course, surgery is usually the last option when other treatment options have failed, but it is the only way to actually repair the deformed toes.
Need Relief? Give Us a Call
Ankle & Foot Center of Fox Valley is here to provide you with the comprehensive podiatric care that you need. If you are living with foot pain, hammertoes, or other foot problems, call our Naperville office today at (630) 778-7670 to schedule an appointment with your foot doctor.