This common foot deformity can often be corrected with simple conservative measures.
If you are noticing that your smaller toes are starting to bend at the middle joint this is a telltale sign of hammertoes. While most people are concerned about bunions, a hammertoe is another common foot deformity that can result from an imbalance of the muscles or tendons in the foot. If you are concerned that you might be dealing with a hammertoe, it’s first important to visit our Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, foot doctor Dr. Jeffrey Agricola for an evaluation.
I have a hammertoe. Now what?
So, our foot doctor told you that you have hammertoes. The good news is that now that you know you can put some lifestyle changes and habits in place to prevent this problem from getting worse. If you are dealing with the early stages of a hammertoe (also known as a flexible hammertoe) here are some simple ways to manage this issue,
- Splint the toes to stretch out the imbalanced tendon in the foot to keep the smaller toes straight
- Apply protective padding over the middle joint of the hammertoes to prevent a callus from forming
- Perform daily toes and foot stretches and strengthening exercises
- Wear shoes with roomy toe boxes that prevent toes from being bunched up
- Avoid high heels or shoes with pointed toes
By catching your hammertoes early on and implementing the proper home care, you can prevent the tendon from becoming too tight. Daily exercises can also improve your foot’s flexibility.
When should I see a podiatrist?
First, you should visit our team if you aren’t sure whether or not you are dealing with a hammertoe. Of course, you should also consult us if home care isn’t providing you with relief or you are noticing new or worsening symptoms. If you notice your toes becoming stiff this is also a reason to schedule an evaluation with us.
Will I need surgery?
If you maintain proper foot hygiene you can often slow the progress of the hammertoe and never need surgery; however, if you have a rigid hammertoe that you can’t straighten out then surgery can correct the damaged joint to straighten out the toe or toes.
If you are experiencing persistent or recurring foot pain, it’s important that you have a qualified foot doctor here in Carmel and Indianapolis, IN, who can provide you with the answers and treatment you need. Concerned about hammertoes? If so, call Prestige Podiatry at (317) 846-4111 or (317) 881-0070 to schedule a visit with Dr. Jeffrey Agricola.