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Posts for tag: Hammertoes

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!

By Thomas Neuman, D.P.M.
March 04, 2014
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Hammertoes  

HammertoesA hammertoe is one of the most common toe conditions, usually stemming from muscle imbalance in which the joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toe are bent into a contracted, claw-like position. In the early stages, hammertoes are flexible and can be corrected with simple conservative measures, but if left untreated, they can become fixed and require surgery.

The most common cause of hammertoe is a muscle imbalance. Tight-fitting and high-heeled shoes often aggravate the condition, crowding your toes forward. A hammertoe can also be the result of injury in which you break or jam the toe, or from conditions like arthritis or stroke that affect nerves and muscles. In some cases, hammertoes may even be inherited.

Because of their clenched, claw-like appearance, hammertoes will generally be visibly present. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Difficult or painful motion of a toe joint
  • Redness or swelling at a toe joint
  • Development of calluses and corns
  • Open sores in severe cases

The foot and ankle professionals at our Northridge and Lancaster offices recommend the following for preventing and reducing the symptoms associated with hammertoe:

  • Wear comfortable, proper-fitting shoes that provide support and allow enough room for your toes
  • Avoid high-heeled or narrow-toed shoes
  • Stretch your toe muscles to relieve pressure and pain
  • Apply splints, cushions or pads to relieve pressure
  • Moisturize with cream to keep the skin soft

Generally, a modification of footwear will reduce the symptoms associated with hammertoe. Other non-surgical treatment includes padding to shield corns and calluses and orthotic devices that are placed in the shoe to help control muscle imbalance. Thomas Neuman, D.P.M. can help you determine the best treatment for your symptoms. Severe cases that don't respond to conservative measures may require surgery to restore your toe's flexibility and eliminate the pressure.

Hammertoes are progressive - they don't go away by themselves and the condition usually gets worse over time. Once a podiatrist at Thomas Neuman, D.P.M. has evaluated your hammertoe, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.