Deformed toes may cause you pain and discomfort when you wear shoes. Consistent friction between your toe and shoe may result in corns which may be unsightly and painful. When this goes on without treatment, you may develop a rigid joint on your toe, which is harder to manage than other conditions. If this defines you, visit the Bakersfield hammertoe experts at Diabetic Foot and Wound Center for treatment to improve the appearance of your toes.
What is a hammertoe?
A hammertoe is bending of your toe at the first joint. It usually occurs on your second, third, or fourth toes. The two types of hammertoe include:
· Flexible hammertoe. You can treat a hammertoe without surgery during the early stages because your joints are moveable.
· Rigid hammertoe. The joints in your toes can no longer move, and your doctor may recommend surgery to straighten your joints.
Weakening of muscles and ligaments in your toes may be caused by different factors such as:
· Small shoes that do not fit properly.
· Structural changes that may cause your toe to bend.
· High arches
· Long toes
· Nerve damage
When joints in your toes do not bend, you may experience symptoms such as:
· Inflammation on your toe
· Pain on the affected toe when you wear shoes
· Open sores
· Corns are caused by friction against your shoes.
· Contractures in your toe
Your doctor may conduct a physical diagnosis by examining and manipulating your foot. Imaging tests like X-ray may be used to determine the degree of your deformities. Your doctor will recommend surgical or non-surgical treatment based on the results of your diagnosis.
Treatment methods for hammertoe
If joints in your toes are still moveable, your doctor may recommend non-surgical procedures that include:
Padding corns and calluses. Your specialist may prescribe or give you pads to shield your toes from friction when you wear shoes.
Orthotic device. Your doctor may suggest that you place an orthotic device inside your shoes to minimize muscle imbalance.
Changes in footwear. Your doctor will require you to avoid high-heeled and pointed shoes.
Medication. Your doctor may prescribe you anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation.
Rigid hammertoes may require surgical processes, for example:
During this procedure, your surgeon will pull a tendon in your hammertoe in a straight position to improve muscle strength and the appearance of your toe.
Your surgeon will cut ligaments and tendons to make your toe straight for this treatment method. Your doctor may use temporary pins to hold your toe in place. The pins can be removed several weeks after the procedure.
Your doctor will remove small portions of a joint in your toe to make room for bones to grow together. Your doctor will use pins to hold the bones in place. The pins will be removed after your joint has fused.
Regular activities like walking around may be painful if you have a hammertoe. Reserve a session with your specialist at Diabetic Foot and Wound Center to get treatment for toe deformities.