There are many foot problems that people are afflicted with but one very painful condition is hammertoes. A hammertoe occurs when the middle of the toe points upward strangely. Hammertoes usually in the second toe will develop a callus on the top of the first joint of the toe which is painful.
Causes of Hammertoes
Hammertoes can be a heredity trait passed down to you from your parents. The second toe can be abnormally long with the tip constantly being pressed into a bent position. Sometimes a tight tendon does not allow the toe to lay flat and a hammertoe will develop. A bunion on the big toe can press the second toe into a bent position. Muscle weakness or arthritis may make the toes to constrict into a hammer position. Shoes that do not fit properly can lead to hammertoes plus other foot problems. Shoes can cause the toe to bend at the joint and put weight on the tip. In time the tendon constricts and the toe tightens into this unusual position. These are some of the causes of hammertoes that when left untreated become very painful.
A Missouri podiatrist can sometimes prevent hammertoes from becoming inflexible, deformed and painful. When the tendon is still pliable using lamb’s wool padding or special splints to hold the toe in its normal, aligned position will help the hammertoe. Wearing wider shoes will keep the toes from crowding again.
When a hammertoe is left untreated the cartilage between the joints wears out and the toe loses its pliability and function. Hammertoes can cause an unusual manner of walking which can cause back, hip and knee problems. If you notice a toe looking abnormal and the joint is bent it is time to seek help from a foot doctor.
If a hammertoe is very painful and your shoes no longer fit, surgery may be the only option. At the deformed joint 1/16th to 1/18th of bone is extracted which allows the linked toe bones to lay flat.
In the past it took 60 days of healing from hammertoe surgery, but today many Missouri podiatric surgeons are trained to perform minimal incision surgery. This surgery can be done in the doctor’s office, and the likelihood of infection is lowered and pain can be managed with aspirin.
With minimal incision hammertoe surgery you can walk right away and return to work in a few days providing your work allows sitting most of the time. If you wear roomy, practical shoes hammertoes rarely return.
So if you notice your toes looking abnormal and they are painful it’s time to visit a podiatrist. Hammertoes left untreated eventually make it very painful to walk or stand on your feet. With proper treatment it is possible to correct a hammertoe and relieve the discomfort caused by the bent joint.
If you are looking for a podiatrist in the Missouri area visit our website for information about our doctors and the services we provide.