Orthopedic Associates: Foot & Ankle Specialists
Podiatrists & Podiatric Surgeons located in Farmington, NM
If you tend to wear high heels or shoes that are too tight, you could be increasing your risk of developing painful hammertoe. At Orthopedic Associates: Foot & Ankle Specialists in Farmington, New Mexico, the skilled orthopedic team offers diagnosis and treatment for mild to severe hammertoe deformities. Using in-office diagnostic tests, the providers create a treatment plan to correct hammertoe and improve your mobility. Request a consultation for hammertoe at Orthopedic Associates: Foot & Ankle Specialists today by calling the office or using the online booking tool.
What is hammertoe?
Hammertoe is a condition that describes an abnormal bending of the joints in your second through fifth toes. The deformity occurs because of an imbalance in the nearby muscles or tendons due to injury or inherited traits or, in some cases, because of neurological issues in the foot.
When you wear shoes that are too tight or don’t fit properly, it can further aggravate your condition. This can cause the bend in your toe joints to become more severe, interfering with your ability to stay physically active.
What are the symptoms of hammertoe?
The hallmark symptom of hammertoe is a noticeable bend in the affected toe. You can also develop hammertoe-related symptoms like:
- Corns or calluses
- Joint inflammation
- Pain when wearing shoes
As your condition worsens, you can also develop open sores on your toes that bleed and/or become infected.
How is hammertoe diagnosed?
While the team at Orthopedic Associates: Foot & Ankle Specialists can often confirm hammertoe during a visual evaluation of your foot, you might also need an X-ray. Images of the inner structures of your toe provide your doctor with information about the severity of your deformity.
Once your orthopedic specialist determines how advanced your hammertoe is, they create a treatment plan to ease your symptoms and prevent the bend in your joints from getting worse.
How is hammertoe treated?
In the early stages of hammertoe, your Orthopedic Associates: Foot & Ankle Specialists could recommend specific lifestyle changes that will prevent irritating your condition. This can include:
- Wearing wide shoes
- Avoiding high heels
- Using pads to prevent calluses and corns
You could benefit from ice therapy to reduce inflammation and try massaging your toe to relieve tension in your muscles. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can also keep you comfortable.
When is surgery considered for hammertoe?
If these treatments aren’t enough to relieve pain from hammertoe or the deformity in your toe is severe, you could be a candidate for surgery.
Often, the goal of surgery is to remove a small piece of bone in the affected joint. This allows your surgeon to realign your toe joint and correct the deformity. You might also need more complex surgery to correct imbalances in the toe muscles or tendons.
To prevent hammertoe from coming back, you’ll need physical therapy to stretch the muscles in your feet. You should continue to wear proper-fitting, wide-width shoes.
If you have symptoms of hammertoe, request a consultation today at Orthopedic Associates: Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling the office or using the online booking tool.
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