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Posts for: February, 2016

By Thomas Neuman D.P.M.
February 02, 2016
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Hammertoes  
What is Hammertoe and What Can I Do about It? Causes and treatment of hammertoe. 
 

You may have heard about hammertoe, and just thinking about it makes your feet hurt. You might wonder if you have one because you're getting an odd pain in your toe and it won’t go away. To find out if you have hammertoe, you need to talk with a podiatrist like Dr. HammertoeThomas Neuman at Complete Foot and Ankle Care with offices in Northridge and Lancaster, CA.

What is Hammertoe?

Hammertoe gets its name from a deformity of your second, third or fourth toe in which your toe is bent at its middle joint making your it resemble a hammer. Hammertoe can be caused from poorly fitting shoes or an imbalance in your tendons and muscles. When you bend your toes, if your tendons and muscles aren’t working the way they should, your toe may be held in the wrong position long enough for them to tighten to the point they can’t stretch out.

Common signs you may have a hammertoe are calluses or corns appearing at the top of the middle joint on your toe. These growths rub against the inside of your shoes, making it very difficult for you to find shoes you can tolerate. You may also have redness and swelling.

What Can I Do?

According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, there are some things you can do at home to prevent and treat hammertoe, including:

  • Finding shoes that have enough room at the front and don’t crowd or bend your toes; wearing sandals is often more comfortable than closed shoes.
  • Doing toe exercises like stretching each of your toes with your fingers or picking things up from the floor with your toes
  • Using corn or callus pads or cushions
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen

If you have tried home remedies but you are still plagued with the pain of hammertoe, you should see Dr. Neuman, your podiatrist in the neighborhood. He may suggest:

  • Corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Custom-made orthotics to place in your shoes to affect any tendon or muscle imbalance
  • Splinting your toe to try and realign and straighten it
 

More advanced cases, in which your toe is rigid and painful and won’t respond to conservative therapies, may require surgery to correct the deformed toe. If you think you have hammertoe, call Dr. Thomas Neuman at Complete Foot and Ankle Care, in Northridge and Lancaster, CA for a consultation. Don’t suffer from hammertoe when relief is a phone call away!