If one or more of your middle toes stays bent in a curved or hammerhead-like position, you may have hammertoes. Without proper treatment, hammertoes can become locked, negatively affecting your mobility. At Precision Podiatry with three locations in the Round Rock, Cedar Park, and the River Place neighborhoods of Austin, Texas, the licensed foot and ankle specialists regularly assist in the diagnosis and treatment of hammertoes. To request your consultation at Precision Podiatry today, call the office nearest you.
Hammertoe and mallet toe are two common foot deformities that occur due to an imbalance in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons responsible for keeping your toe straight. Several different factors can increase your risk of hammertoes, including your foot structure, the shoes you wear, and a history of previous trauma.
A hammertoe affects the middle joint of your toe, while a mallet toe affects the joint of your toe nearest your nail. Hammertoe and mallet toe can occur anywhere on your foot, but they usually affect your second, third, or fourth toes.
If you or a loved one has a hammertoe or mallet toe, don’t wait to seek professional help. Take the first step and make an appointment at Precision Podiatry today.
The most common symptom associated with hammertoe and mallet toe is an abnormal bend in one or more of your middle toes. As the condition gets worse, you might also experience pain or difficulty straightening your affected toe. You might also develop corns or calluses as a result of the top of your hammertoe rubbing against your socks and shoes.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent hammertoes entirely, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk, including:
You should also make sure to buy shoes that fit. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can irritate your feet and aggravate the symptoms of hammertoe.
To diagnose hammertoe and mallet toe, your Precision Podiatry provider examines your feet and toes. If necessary, they might also order a series of X-rays to get a closer look at the bones and joints in your feet and toes.
Treatment for hammertoe depends on the severity of the bend in your toe. If you’re still able to move your affected toe, your doctor might recommend wearing more comfortable, roomier shoes. Additionally, your doctor might suggest a series of at-home exercises, such as picking up marbles with your toes or crumpling a towel with your toes to increase muscle strength.
If these measures of care don’t provide relief, surgical intervention may be necessary. During hammertoe surgery, your Precision Podiatry provider releases the tendon that prevents your toe from lying flat. Depending on the severity of your hammertoe, your provider might also remove a small piece of bone to help straighten your toe.
Request an appointment at Precision Podiatry today by calling the office nearest you.