A hammertoe deformity is easy to identify, and not just because it causes pain, but because your toe stays bent in an abnormal shape. The team of board-certified podiatrists at Forward Foot & Ankle Associates. They offer comprehensive care for all stages of hammertoe at their two offices in Midtown Manhattan and Staten Island, New York. You can avoid surgery by getting hammertoe treatment at an early stage. To learn more, call the nearest office or request an appointment online today.
A hammertoe occurs when the top of a toe turns downward, bending at the toe’s middle joint. This deformity most often affects the second, third, and fourth toes, making them take on a hammer-like shape.
At first, the soft tissues remain flexible. But as the toe is forced to stay bent, the muscles and tendons tighten. Before long, they’re stuck in the bent condition and it’s hard or even impossible to move the joint and straighten the toe.
Hammertoe most often begins from wearing high-heel shoes or shoes that are too tight around your toes. The shoes force the toes to bend and the longer you wear them, the more the muscles and tendons tighten. However, you may also develop hammertoe after an injury or if you have arthritis.
Your bent toe is the most noticeable symptom, but hammertoe also causes:
Wearing shoes is painful and if your hammertoe is advanced, you may not be able to put shoes over the toe.
In the early stages, when the soft tissues are still flexible, your provider at Forward Foot & Ankle Associates can treat the deformity with one or more of the following:
If you don’t get early treatment, stiff tendons and muscles turn into fixed, tight tissues that can’t move (contractures). Surgery is your only treatment option when you reach this stage.
During hammertoe surgery, your provider may release the tendon, trim away a small piece of the bone, lengthen the tendon, or replace the tight tendon with a healthy tendon. They also realign the bones and may implant a small piece of silicone or perform a bone fusion to hold the bones in their proper position.
If you notice your toes stay bent after taking off your shoes or you have ongoing pain, don’t wait to schedule an evaluation. Call Forward Foot & Ankle Associates or request an appointment online today.