Millions of Americans suffer from hammertoe, but only a small fraction of them seek medical attention. The more you ignore it, the harder and more painful it is to correct. If you have a hammertoe, call today or make an appointment online with expert podiatrists Dr. Darren Silvester and Dr. Boyd Bills at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic. The San Antonio-area practice has two convenient offices in Universal City and Pleasanton, Texas, to restore your balance.
What is hammertoe?
Hammertoe is a deformity of the joints of the small toes, but the toe next to the big toe is the most commonly affected. If your toes are stuck in a bent position, you might have hammertoes.
Hammertoe results when the tendons and muscles that hold your toes in place become unbalanced, allowing the underside to tighten and curl up your toe. This causes the middle joint to bend sharply upward. It starts as a mild deformity that remains pliable, but gets worse over time and becomes stiff, trapped in place, and difficult to treat.
What causes hammertoe?
Several different factors cause the middle joint of any of your small toes to become flexed and bent upwards. Common causes include:
- Nerve damage
- Repeated wearing of high heels, tight shoes, or footwear with a pointed toe box
- A traumatic toe injury
- High foot arch
- Pressure from a bunion
- Tightened ligaments or tendons
- Abnormal balance of the toe muscles
Are there risk factors for hammertoe?
Yes. Your risks of developing hammertoe increases as you grow older. Other risk factors include:
- Family history of hammertoe
- Your second toe is longer than your big toe
- Certain diseases like arthritis and diabetes
- Having thickened layers of skin like calluses or corns
What treatments are there for hammertoe?
At Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic, your doctor examines your toes. He may order an X-ray of your foot to examine the bone structure further. The result of the examination determines the best course of treatment.
If your hammertoe is still in its early stages, your podiatrist shows you how to correct it and advises you on changing your shoes and getting special pads to accommodate the shape and size of your foot. He might prescribe a pain reliever and the use of an ice pack to relieve soreness and swelling.
Sometimes, physical therapy is required to relax your tightened tissues, keep your joints flexible, and rebuild your strength. In a severe case of hammertoe where your toe is too stiff, you may need surgery to release the tightened structures.
Your doctor ensures that your treatment plan is personalized to your unique situation and relieves your pain and discomfort fast and efficiently. If you’re in the greater San Antonio area, call or book an appointment online today for hammertoe treatment.
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