If your second, third, fourth, or fifth toes have joints that chronically bend without your control, we say you have the condition called “hammertoes.” The term describes the abnormal shape taken on by affected toes, curled over into a shape like the head of a hammer.
Hammertoes are a common podiatric issue affecting many of Dr. Steve Sharlin’s patients at The Foot Care Group. Dr. Sharlin sees new and existing patients with foot and toe deformities like hammertoes from his offices in Hinsdale, Libertyville, and the Streeterville community of Chicago, Illinois.
You might have developed hammertoes due to too much time spent in tight, ill-fitting footwear. Or, there might be a genetic component to your hammertoe problem. Either way, Dr. Sharlin can examine your symptoms and recommend an effective treatment plan.
Here are some of the treatment options that Dr. Sharlin most commonly suggests for addressing hammertoes and restoring foot shape.
1. Change your shoes and stop hammertoe progression
If there’s a chance that your footwear might be the source of your toe deformity, it’s time to change your shoes. Take a break from shoes with elevated heels that put added pressure on the front part of your feet. Make sure to select footwear with plenty of space for your toes in the toe box.
You might find that your altered toe shape, toe pain, redness and inflammation, and unwanted calluses stop being a problem after some time wearing better-fitting shoes.
2. Add support with custom orthotics
In addition to switching to better, more supportive shoes, you can add support for your feet with custom orthotic devices used inside your shoes.
Some people think of orthotics as unflattering, heavy contraptions. That’s not true of the orthotics produced for you at The Foot Care Group! You can stay stylish while still supporting the tendons and muscles in the front of your foot.
3. Relieve pain and inflammation with medication
When the shape of your feet isn’t quite right, you end up putting unusual pressure on all the parts of your feet. This can result in open sores, as well as foot pain and inflammation.
In order to reduce your pain and inflammation levels, Dr. Sharlin may recommend medication management, icing therapy, or even corticosteroid injections. You may need antibiotic treatment for open injuries on your feet.
4. Surgical intervention to restore foot shape
For severe cases, you might need surgery to restore the internal shape of your foot or feet. Dr. Sharlin makes sure to exhaust all other treatment options before turning to surgery.
Dr. Sharlin starts your treatment with a thorough examination, including X-rays if needed, to learn more about the internal issues with your feet. Then, he lets you know the best strategy for you to get rid of your hammertoe problem for good.
If your toes are starting to curl over, don’t delay seeking treatment! Conservative options for treating hammertoes work best if you get started with treatment early. Contact Dr. Sharlin at The Foot Care Group for evaluation now. Schedule your appointment by calling today, or request an appointment with our online tool.