Hammertoe is a deformed foot where the toes curl up in the shape of a hammer. When the joint of one toe overlaps the adjacent toe, it is hammertoe. This generally happens with the toe adjacent to the big toe. The shape of the feet and toes deform. The muscles of tendons and joints become weak and force the toe to bend.
Hammer toes can be painful because the foot is not in the right shape and alignment. Whether you’re an athlete or an employee who stands on her feet for hours, hammertoe can be troublesome for anyone. Surgery is not the last option for hammertoe, but there are treatments available as well.
Those with hammertoe suffer from pain, redness, and swelling. The most common symptoms of a hammertoe are itching, rubbing, irritation, sweating, and toenail fungus. The fungus can be yellow or brown. However, the discoloration in hammertoe can also be due to callus accumulation.
In hammertoe, the toenail bends downwards and rubs against the shoe. The body produces callus to protect itself from friction. This make changes the color of the toenail. However, only a biopsy can determine if it is fungus or callus.
If you’re looking for a podiatrist in Irvine, Orange County, CA, then you can make appointments with Podiatric Clinic in Irvine. They have their other offices in Tustin, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, and other areas of Orange County. All their podiatrists deliver the best services and treatment for ankle and foot problems. With the latest methods and technologies, they keep surgery as the last method of treatment.
Causes of Hammertoe
- People with flat feet will face the problem of hammertoe as they try to balance and settle on a flat floor, while the foot with a high arch will also suffer from hammertoe because the tendons are pressurized to maintain balance. Therefore, genes can also play an important role in the formation of a hammertoe.
- Fashionable high heels and cramped shoes look stylish, but wearing and standing for long hours can lead to severe problems. High heels put pressure on toes and joints because there is no arch support.
- Various diseases like diabetes also play an important role in the formation of a hammertoe. During diabetes, if a person grows corn or ulceration on a toe, it means too much pressure is being put on the toe and for comfort, the toe starts bending.
Treatment for Hammertoe
- Wear good-fitting shoes that have proper padding around the toes and bones to give relief from pain.
- Consult a doctor and get medication like pain relievers and anti-inflammatory prescribed.
- Consult an orthopedic or a podiatrist who can custom make an insert that can be worn inside the shoe to reduce pain.
- At an early stage, the doctor may suggest a splint to bring the toe in proper alignment. They will also suggest some regular foot exercises to re-establish muscle balance.
When the problem is severe then the doctor recommends surgery. In the surgery, a small piece of bone is removed from the joint to bring back the toe in proper alignment. As the severity increases the surgery also gets complicated. Thus, follow a few treatment options at home to avoid surgery.