Can My Hammertoe Be Corrected?

At first blush, healthy feet and toes may not make the top of your list of overall wellness and health priorities — unless you suffer from a painful foot condition that interferes with your mobility or quality of life.

While many podiatric issues can develop due to heredity like foot shape and type, other mitigating issues may be of our own doing, particularly a weakness for ill-fitting fashionable footwear. Hammertoes are one of the most common toe anomalies, affecting some 60 million people in the United States. 

Nearly half of those suffering with hammertoes undergo surgery to fix the condition. But is surgery the only hammertoe correction available? In this blog, the highly skilled team at Cardio Metabolic Institute offers their advice on best practices to correct hammertoes. 

Hammertoes explained

A hammertoe is a common progressive toe condition that gets its name from the characteristic bend in the toe’s joint that resembles a hammer. Typically the condition occurs in the lesser toes — your second, third, or fourth toes.

Risk factors for developing hammertoes include having flat feet, weak or unstable joints, high arches, or toes that are longer than others or wearing tight footwear that crowds your toes. Injuries, arthritis, and inherited traits such as shape and foot type may also be risk factors.  

In its initial stages, a hammertoe can be effectively treated through noninvasive, nonsurgical options. If left untreated, the deformity becomes more rigid as the muscles and tendons in the toe become imbalanced, and your hammertoe may require more aggressive treatment like surgery.

Switch to properly fitting, supportive footwear

Hammertoes can happen to anyone, but they’re more common among women than men. Stylish, trendy shoes may be a fashion must for some, but making good decisions while buying footwear can make a huge difference when it comes to comfort as well as foot health. 

Think proper fit and support. Look for shoes that provide room in the front part of the shoe, known as the toe box, as well as shoes that support your arches. It’s tempting. But just say no to those narrow, pointy high-heeled shoes. Your feet and toes will thank you if your shoes provide enough room for all of your toes to light flat and straight.

Use custom orthotics and insoles to stop progression

In the early stages of a hammertoe, while your toe is still flexible, your podiatrist may recommend custom-made insoles, shoe inserts, or other orthotics. These treatment options may help control the tendon or muscle imbalance issues by repositioning your toes. This ultimately results in increased comfort by relieving pressure and pain. 

Minimally invasive surgical procedures

If your hammertoe condition is severe or when more conservative treatment options fail, your podiatrist may turn to surgical procedures to correct your hammertoes. Depending on the complexity of the issue, your doctor can perform minimally invasive outpatient surgery under local or general anesthesia.

Hammertoe correction surgery involves removing damaged tissue and, if needed, fusing bones together or cutting out toe joints. In some cases, it may involve a tendon transfer procedure — in which your surgeon forces your hammertoe to shift into a straighter position by stretching a tendon across the top of the toe joint. 

Patients undergoing hammertoe correction surgery can expect a full recovery in about 6-12 weeks. After-care in many cases includes daily stretching and strengthening exercises.  

If you have a hammertoe, make an appointment for an evaluation and treatment sooner rather than later at Cardio Metabolic Institute in Somerset, Monroe Township, or East Brunswick, New Jersey. Don’t wait for the problem to get worse. Click or call today for an appointment at the office nearest you.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Noninvasive Procedures to Get Rid of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins not only look unsightly, but they also cause pain and discomfort. Advances in varicose vein treatment now make it possible to address the condition without undergoing invasive vein stripping. Read on to learn more.

Here's Why High Blood Pressure Is Dangerous

High blood pressure is a common health issue in the general population. Just because it isn’t rare doesn’t mean you should ignore it, however. Untreated high blood pressure could have life-threatening consequences. Read on to learn more.

How Botox® Helps With Migraines

Migraine sufferers know all too well how this neurological condition can wreak havoc in your life. Managing symptoms and the frequency of episodes is important. Did you know that Botox® can help with migraines? Read on to learn more.

What to Expect During Your Stress Test

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. If you have heart issues, your doctor may prescribe a stress test to find out how well your heart functions. Learn what to expect here.

Am I at Risk for High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer” because for many people, it has no outward symptoms. Knowing whether you’re at risk for high blood pressure can literally save your life. Click here to take a personal assessment.

7 Key Health Benefits of Getting Optimal Nutrition

Optimal nutrition has serious ramifications that go well beyond weight management. It keeps you operating at a higher level whether you play sports, work in an office, or are a grandparent who loves playing with your grandkids. Read on to learn more.