Hammertoes can be painful and lead to the development of uncomfortable calluses. If you’ve got a hammertoe, visit Christiaan Goebel, DPM, and Weston Packard, DPM, at Salt Lake City Foot and Ankle Clinic in Utah. Serving the entire Salt Lake City community and surrounding area at their offices in Holladay and West Jordan, the experienced podiatrists use noninvasive treatments to correct hammertoes. They also perform expert surgeries to straighten severely affected toes. For effective treatment of your hammertoes, call Salt Lake City Foot and Ankle Clinic today or book an appointment online.
Hammertoes occur when the toe joint closest to your foot contracts or buckles. The same problem in the joint near your toenail is called a mallet toe. If the contraction affects both joints, you have a claw toe.
Some hammertoes aren’t too troublesome, while others can be very painful. The abnormal shape of the toe makes it hard to find shoes that fit correctly. Poorly fitting shoes can cause painful calluses to form on the tops or tips of your toes.
In advanced cases of hammertoe, the nail can become deformed. This happens because you’re walking on the tips of your toes.
Hammertoes may develop if your foot has structural problems, like flat feet, high arches, or a second toe that extends further than your big toe. Breaking or stubbing your toes can damage the joints and cause hammertoes to develop.
Medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and some neurological (brain and nervous system) disorders increase your risk of hammertoes. Ill-fitting shoes, especially ones like high heels that force your toes into unnatural positions, are another risk factor.
You’re also more likely to get hammertoes if other family members have them.
If you develop a hammertoe, the first thing to do is get some well-fitting, supportive shoes with soft uppers. Your foot will be more comfortable, and it helps stop your hammertoes from getting worse.
Your Salt Lake City Foot and Ankle Clinic podiatrist can create custom orthotics for you. These are inserts individually designed around your foot that fit inside your shoes. Orthotics support your foot structure and reduce pressure on your toes.
If you get a corn on your hammertoe, over-the-counter cushions and pads are available to relieve pressure on the corn. Talk to your podiatrist about whether you need medicated products before using them. Alternatively, your podiatrist can shave the corns and give you a cortisone injection to reduce inflammation and pain.
Physical therapy can be beneficial for hammertoes. Stretches reduce pain and can help reposition your toes. Toe spacers could be useful to keep the foot tendons and ligaments flexible.
If your symptoms don’t improve after your initial treatment, The Salt Lake City Foot and Ankle Clinic team can perform surgery. The kind of surgery you need depends on how flexible your toes are.
Tenotomy (cutting the tightened tendon) can help if you have flexible hammertoes. Less flexible hammertoes might need arthroplasty, where your provider resurfaces or realigns the bones. Arthrodesis (joint fusion) might be necessary for inflexible (rigid) hammertoes.
Get help for your hammertoe before it needs surgery. Call Salt Lake City Foot and Ankle Clinic today or book an appointment online.