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Posts for category: toe deformities

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 11, 2018
Category: toe deformities
Tags: hammertoe   corns   orthotic  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, when a patient comes in with the early signs of a hammertoe we sometimes have to convince them that this is not merely a cosmetic issue. Hammertoe is a progressive condition most often caused by a muscle/tendon imbalance. As time goes on, the bend in the toe becomes more severe and increasingly rigid. Pain, inflammation and a burning sensation may develop in the affected toe. In addition, wearing shoes becomes difficult due to the fact that the bent toe is constantly being pressed up against the front of the shoe. Secondary conditions, such as corns, calluses and even open sores on the hammertoe are also a possibility.

Creating a Treatment Plan

Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will want to monitor the progression of your hammertoe. As part of the initial diagnosis, the foot doctor will most likely take an x-ray of the hammertoe. This can be used as a reference point going forward that will show when and how the deformity is changing. Depending on the severity and rate of progression, the foot doctor will determine the best treatment options for you.

If you are in pain, getting relief will be a top priority. The podiatrist may recommend using a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or undergoing corticosteroid injections. If you’re suffering from corns or calluses, padding can help protect those areas and prevent them from worsening.

Modifying your footwear can also relieve pain and help correct the muscle/tendon problem. Avoiding high heels (over two inches) and choosing styles that have roomy toe boxes will definitely be more comfortable. The foot doctor may also order a custom orthotic device to wear inside your shoe.

Another approach to correcting a hammertoe is trying to straighten out the toe and properly realign it. The can be done with splints or straps that help move and keep the toe in the correct position.

It’s important to realize that hammertoe will only get worse and not better without some treatment measures. If you have noticed a bend in one of your toes, contact our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction by calling 732-662-3050 to learn if you have a hammertoe and what is the best way to proceed.