A hammertoe happens when the joint in a toe points upward instead of lying flat. Most commonly occurring in the toe next to the big one or the smallest toe, this condition is not only aesthetically displeasing — it can also be painful. There are diverse causes for hammertoes, from poor choices in footwear to neuromuscular diseases and genetic factors. While it’s not always possible to prevent their development, there are steps you can take to ease the discomfort.
How to Handle Hammertoes
1. Choose the Right Shoes
Look for shoes made of a soft, flexible material that has some give to it. The right footwear gives your toes enough space on top to remain comfortable. A rounded, deep toe box can also help alleviate pressure on the joint. Add a soft insole or cushioned toe caps to mitigate stress on the ends of bent toes.
2. Care for Calluses & Corns
Calluses and corns are common conditions that accompany hammertoe. They form on top of the joint due to pressure and friction against footwear. Use a pumice stone after a warm bath to reduce their size. You can also wear silicone or moleskin padding on top of the areas where they form when wearing shoes.
3. Spring for Surgical Intervention
The only long-term solution for hammertoes is an operation to straighten the digits. This surgery is fairly commonplace, and the sooner you get it done, the better. Left untreated, the joint causing your hammertoe can become more rigid — and more difficult to fix. See a foot specialist to discuss your options.
Mitigate the effects of hammertoe by consulting a medical professional. For podiatric services in the Tri-State area, look to Foot & Ankle Specialists in Blue Ash, Franklin, and Cincinnati, OH. They offer comprehensive care for foot and ankle disorders, from bunions to sprained ankles. You can get a full overview of their services online. To schedule an appointment, call (513) 769-4408 today.