Hammertoes can happen for a number of reasons; yet, the cause is usually traced to your shoes. Can you believe that it’s your actions that may be causing your hammertoes? Don’t worry though, there’s something you can do about it.
First, it’s important to know that aside from improperly-fitting shoes, they can also develop from trauma to the toes or from the genetic disposition. When the toe joints are subjected to excessive and chronic pressure, they can become fixed in an abnormal upward shape, creating a hammer-looking toe. The easiest way to start the healing process and decrease pain from hammertoes is to acquire shoes with wide toe boxes. It is only when the toe joints become rigid and conservative measures are exhausted that surgery is discussed.
Treatment for hammertoes includes:
- Wearing shoes that fit properly. Opt for ones with wide toe boxes and do not have an elevated heel to minimize pressure on the toes.
- Using padding to reduce the pressure placed on toes.
- Placing custom orthotics in your shoes to provide support and physical therapy to reduce the tightness in the muscles of your toes.
- Surgery to undo the constricted joints and to rebalance the toes. This will correct the skewed bones and fuse damaged joints. Parts of your toe joint may need to be removed and repaired if they have become rigidly deformed. During the procedure, the tendons will be routed in a manner so the toe can be straightened and ease the joint pressure. This may also involve shortening the toe bone so that additional space can be created for motility. The goal of this surgery is to alleviate pain and allow the bones in the toe to grow in a natural manner. By fixing the toe joints, you can avoid deformities caused by hammertoes.
Our expert foot doctor at Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM located in Chicago, Illinois, can help you with your hammertoe woes and create an individualized treatment plan to repair your toe deformity, as well as any other podiatric issues you may have. Come to see Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos by making an appointment with our office at (773) 561-8100 and in the meantime, check out our Patient Education Library for additional resources.