Hammer Toes in Miami, FL
The Advanced Neuro and Spine Institute specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of orthopedic conditions and diseases such as hammertoes. Our team of experts delivers the latest advances in personalized, comprehensive care to patients in our conveniently located clinics in Aventura, Kendall, Hialeah, and Fort Lauderdale.
What is a Hammertoe?
Hammertoe is a condition manifested by one, or both joints of the second, third, fourth, and/or fifth toes that are bent sideways. This abnormal bending may put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing pain, inflammation, and eventual deformity of the foot.
Hammertoes typically begin as mild deformities, progressively worsening over time. Upon early diagnosis, hammertoes are flexible, and their symptoms may respond well to therapy and nonsurgical treatment. However, if left untreated, hammertoes may become more rigid, more painful, and more resistant to non-surgical treatment options.
Because of the progressive nature of hammertoes, it is imperative that you receive treatment as early as possible, to prevent future painful structural damage to the foot.
What are the Causes and Symptoms of Hammertoes?
Hammertoes are most commonly caused by a muscle/tendon imbalance, which results in the bending of the toe, usually stemming from mechanical or structural changes in the foot that occur over time. In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes, that force the toes to bend unnaturally, severely aggravates and advances this condition. In other cases, hammertoe may be an outgrowth of an earlier trauma to the toe; in more rare cases, hammertoes may be inherited.
Common symptoms of hammertoes include:
- Pain, swelling and discomfort in the affected toe when wearing shoes.
- Contracture, or bending of the toe.
- Corns and calluses may build up on the toe, between the toes, or on the ball of the foot. Corns may be soft or hard, depending on their location, and are usually caused by constant friction against the shoe, leading to hammertoes.
- Inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation.
- Bunions may also appear.
In more severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may develop in the area, resulting from excessive friction when wearing shoes.
How are Hammertoes Treated?
There are many non-surgical treatment options for hammertoe, particularly when the condition is diagnosed early. Treatment options depend on the severity of your hammertoe, and other factors, to include:
- Wear pads designed to protect corns, calluses, and bunions from further irritation.
- Wear comfortable shoes that adapt well to your foot’s contours, and have a wide, roomy “toe box,” which precludes undue pressure on the toes.
- Avoid shoes with pointed toes, those that are too small, and those with high heels exceeding 2”.
- Insert custom-made orthotic devices in your shoes to help control the muscle/tendon imbalance.
- Medications may be recommended to alleviate pain and inflammation.
- Application of splints, or support straps, to realign the bent toe.
When the hammertoe condition has advanced to a state where it has become extremely rigid and painful, or when open sores begin developing, it may be wise to consider surgery to realign the hammertoe. Patients with hammertoe often have bunions or other foot deformities, which can be corrected at the same time surgery is being performed to realign the hammertoes.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like more information on hammertoes treatment, please contact one of our conveniently located clinics in Aventura, Kendall, Hialeah, and Fort Lauderdale.