A Hammertoe May Be the Root of Your Pain

From genetics to snug shoes, the cause of a hammertoe varies. What remains certain is early detection as the key to speedy recovery.

A hammertoe is that unusual bend in your third, fourth, or little toe. With time, it can worsen, but by recognizing the issue early on, you can lessen the likelihood of surgery. We understand — you want to get back on your feet sooner than later. That’s why Dr. Cox has outlined his pro-tips for healing, so you can return to life, uninterrupted.

What makes that “bend” happen in the first place?

The main culprit develops from an irregular amount of muscle in the toe. This imbalance presses on your toe’s tendons and joints, causing “contracture,” a deformity generated by the hardening and shortening of tissues in this part of the foot.

Cases of heredity, arthritis, and trauma (including too tight of shoes) most often initiate this “imbalance.”

Why heredity, though? In our most recent post on bunions (read here), we discussed how poor foot mechanics can lead to defective development in this area of the body. Parents are capable of passing these mechanics onto their children, which is why, more often than not, bunions go hand in hand with hammertoes.

What happens when you wait to fix the problem?

In a hammertoe’s earliest stages, your toe is still flexible enough for your podiatrist to fix through nonsurgical means.

However, as time passes, the tissues in your toe harden. The symptoms — pain, irritation, corns, calluses, redness, and inflammation — intensify. At this point, your only option is surgery.

Are there measures I can take in the meantime? 

When you visit your local podiatrist, he or she will take x-rays of your toe and access the severity of the situation.

Based on this, there are several different treatment options:

Prevention is key. 

As always, prevention and self-care are the best medicine to curb any initial issue. What Dr. Cox suggests is:

First and foremost, visit your local podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis. 

As we’ve mentioned before, it’s important to a handle a hammertoe earlier than later. But more significantly, it’s paramount to identify if the problem is a torn ligament (and sometimes that happens).

In this case, the steps towards healing are much different than a hammertoe. Learn what the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons®, an organization in which we’re a member, has to say about this condition here.

Are you suffering from a hammertoe or want to learn more? Set up an appointment today, and let us help you heal!

Would you like to continue this journey of healthy? Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or Linkedin for updates.

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