Hammertoe Treatment in Dallas and Frisco
Contracted Toe, Mallet Toe, Claw Toe
Hammertoes and claw toes may sound like funny names for a foot ailment, but these conditions can be incredibly painful. Minor conditions can progress until wearing shoes becomes painful and eventually require surgery to fix. Severe cases can limit the amount of time you can spend comfortably standing and walking. Luckily, hammertoe is something that our Dallas orthopedic surgeons can help with.
A foot and ankle surgeon at SPORT Orthopedics and Physical Therapy can help you get your life back. Our team of highly trained providers shares a mission: to get you back to the life you love. At SPORT, we know how devastating it can be to watch life from the sidelines. Our Dallas orthopedic surgeons offer a wide range of surgical and conservative treatment options for any ailment that keeps you down. With a combined experience of more than 50 years, you can rest easy knowing your future is in the most capable hands possible. Call us today for same-day treatment and Saturday appointments at (469) 200-2832.
What Is Hammer Toe?
Hammertoe is a condition where the middle joint on your lesser toes has an abnormal bend. Any of your lesser toes can develop hammer toes. Hammertoes can cause difficulty walking and prevent you from being as mobile as you usually are. Painful blisters and calluses can form on the bent toes and cause pain and discomfort. Minor cases can stay flexible with physical therapy and stretches. When the muscles in the toe tighten and become rigid, surgery is often the only option.
What Causes Hammertoe?
The leading cause of hammer toe is a muscle imbalance in your toes. The toe’s tendons can become unbalanced due to several factors. Muscle imbalances can be caused by toe injuries that healed improperly. Sprained toes can affect the joints in all five toes and cause the soft tissues in your foot to heal unevenly.
Hammertoes can also be caused by wearing short, narrow shoes, like high-heeled shoes or shoes with pointed toes. Tight shoes often force your toes into an uncomfortable bent position. This can cause a tendon imbalance that leaves your toes in a permanent claw-like position.
Risk Factors for Hammertoe and Mallet Toe
Women are more likely than men to develop hammer toes. Having a longer second toe (or longer than your big toe) can also significantly increase your risk of a hammer toe. All ages can develop hammer toe, but older people are more likely to be affected. Hammer toes also have a genetic factor–they can be hereditary. Poor circulation can also slow the healing process and lead to complications. Bunions can also increase your risk of developing a hammer toe.
Hammertoes often only need a physical examination to be diagnosed. Your physician may order X-rays to get a better picture of which bones are affected and how severe your hammer toe is. Common symptoms can include:
- Abnormal bend in your lesser toes
- Painful corns and calluses
- Pain in the bent joint or the ball of your foot
Most hammertoes occur in the second toe, but they can happen to the third and fourth toes as well. A hammer toe can cause blisters and corns where your toes rub the inside of your shoe.
A hammertoe can make wearing shoes painful, especially high heels or shoes without a wide toe box. The severe pressure on the toes can cause foot pain and difficulty walking.
Flexible hammertoes still have flexibility in the joint and toe muscles. These cases can usually be treated with comfortable shoes and orthopedic devices. You can add corn pads to the inside of shoes to prevent joints from getting corns and calluses. Soft insoles can also help relieve pressure.
A rigid hammertoe is often a severe case and may require corrective surgery. The joint of the toe becomes rigid, and the toe can no longer lie flat. The toe’s position can also lead to corns and calluses where ill-fitting shoes put too much pressure on the toe. These cases need surgical correction.
Conservative treatment can help delay surgery on hammertoes and mallet toes. Hammertoes are progressive conditions, which means they will not go away; they will only get worse. The rate of progression is different for every person. Catching the deformity early can keep the affected toe from getting worse.
Nonsurgical treatment options include physical therapy, a change in footwear, and orthopedic devices. A hammer toe splint can keep the affected toe joint straight and reduce pain. Physical therapy can keep the muscles and tendons in your toes from becoming rigid. Speak with one of our Dallas physical therapists to develop a treatment plan that works for you.
To relieve pain, you can apply an ice pack and keep your foot elevated as much as possible. Avoid shoes with narrow toe boxes, and don’t wear high heels. Wear shoes with adjustable straps to take pressure off the toe joints as necessary. Shoes that fit properly should have half an inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
At SPORT Orthopedics and Physical Therapy, we offer surgical treatment for a bent toe. The details of your case will help determine the best treatment plan for you. A tendon release surgery can relieve pressure on the tendon and allow the toe to straighten. A tendon transfer moves the tendon from the bottom of the toe to the top. This allows the tendon to do the work of straightening the toe.
Hammer toe treatment involves surgery for severe cases. Flexible hammertoes can use conservative treatment options to prevent the toe from getting worse, but eventually, a rigid toe will need surgery.
Orthopaedic surgeons can employ a few different methods to straighten bent joints. There are conservative, non-surgical options as well as different surgeries that can help a hammertoe. For specific questions regarding your case, call us today at (469) 200-2832.
If caught early enough, a hammertoe can be realigned using orthotic devices. This may prevent the hammer toe from getting worse, but chances are it will eventually need surgery. There are no effective non-surgical options to reverse a hammertoe.
Foot and Ankle Surgeons in Dallas and Frisco, Texas
Early hammertoe treatment can save a lot of time and pain down the road. If you are having foot pain and want to explore your treatment options, you’ve found the right place. Get back to your daily life without pain. Contact the foot and ankle surgeons at SPORT Orthopedics + Physical Therapy. Our team of medical providers works together to get you back to the life you want to live. Schedule an appointment online or call us at (469) 200-2832.