Getting My Foot Fixed

What's The Best Solution For Your Hammertoe Issues?

Do you struggle with pain and discomfort from hammertoe? It's a common issue, especially for women who have worn tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes for years. Hammertoe is common among dancers, especially in ballet. Hammertoe is usually caused by the regular wearing of shoes that are too tight, leaving not enough room for toes to lay flat and have a normal amount of space. The result over time is that one or more toes start to bend inward, overlapping with other toes. This can cause discomfort, and in some cases, severe pain.

The good news is that there are options available. Depending on the severity of your hammertoe, you have a few treatment options available:

Wearable devices.

The most important wearable device with hammertoe is comfortable shoes with a wide toe box. That will give your toes plenty of space to lay flat against the sole and will prevent the toe from getting worse.

You can also wear splints that gently guide your toe back into a normal position. They separate your toe from the neighboring toes and help it gradually straighten out over time. You can't wear splints while you're active, but they can be effective when you're sleeping or sitting for long periods of time.

Toe therapy and exercises.

Yes, you can exercise your toes. In fact, there is a wide range of movements and therapy exercises you can do to strengthen the muscle and soft tissue in your toes. These can be effective if your hammertoe is mild and hasn't developed into disjointed bones yet. You can find many toe exercises online with a quick search, or your podiatrist can recommend exercises that you can do. 

Hammertoe surgery.

If your hammertoe is severe enough, your podiatrist may recommend hamertoe surgery. Many podiatrists will only do this if you are suffering from chronic, severe pain that is causing a disruption to your life or mobility. There are two types of surgery commonly used for hammertoe.

The first is joint fusion.

Bones in the toe are fused together to straighten the toe. A wire is inserted to hold the bones together and after several weeks, the wire is removed. In the second type of surgery, rods and screws are inserted into the toe to straighten it. These rods are permanent and are never removed from the toe.

In both surgeries, it's important to be conscious of the toe going forward, especially in shoe selection. If you wear tight shoes with little space, there is a risk that the hammertoe could redevelop. 

If your hammertoe is limiting your functionality, contact your podiatrist. They examine the toe and review your options for treatment.