What is a Hammertoe?
Bending the toe at the first joint, known as the proximal interphalangeal joint (IPJ), is called the hammertoe. Usually, it is the second to fifth toe that is affected by this condition, but it is not just limited to them. Any toe can develop a hammertoe. Hammertoes are more likely to occur in females.
Hammertoes can lead to abnormal balance and increased pressure on the tendons and joints of the toe, causing its contracture as a result.
- Extremely tight shoes
- Unusual balance of toe muscles
Types of Hammertoe:
- Flexible: The hammertoes are able to move at the joint.
- Rigid: People who wait for treatment can develop arthritis resulting in rigid hammertoes. In this condition, tendons in the rigid hammertoe become tight and surgery is the only option.
- Painful pressure at the top of the toe from footwear
- Formation of corns at the affected joints
- Redness and swelling at the affected joint
- Limited mobility of the toe joint
- Pain at the base of the affected toe
Hammertoe Treatment Options Katy TX
Office treatment – conservative:
Hammertoe treatment options vary with the type and severity of the hammertoe. Hammertoes can become rigid if not treated early, making a non-surgical treatment less of an option. Our doctors will examine and X-ray the affected area and recommend a treatment plan specific to the severity and type of hammertoe.
- Applying ice packs at the inflamed hammertoe can reduce swelling
- Wear loose fitting shoes. This remedy just alleviates the pain associated with the hammertoe and does not cure it.
- Keep away from narrow and ill fitted shoes. Children should have their foot size regularly measured as their feet are undergoing a rapid growth.
- Padding and Taping: Padding the hammertoe minimizes pain and allows the patient to continue a normal, active life.
- Medication: Anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections can help pain and inflammation caused by the hammertoe.
- Orthotic Devices: Custom shoe inserts can help control foot function reducing symptoms and preventing the hammertoe from becoming worse.
An out-patient procedure will remove the bony prominence and restore normal alignment of the toe joint, thus relieving pain. Generally, you may go back to work in a day or two following surgery. For example, you may consider to have the procedure performed on a Thursday, allowing you to go back to work on Monday. However, some swelling and discomfort is common for several weeks following surgery. Discomfort or pain can be easily managed with medications.