Do you have hammertoes? In this podiatry condition, the joints of your toes become chronically bent, often in a way that resembles the head of a hammer. Hammertoes occur due to an underlying weakness in the muscles and tendons of your front foot. And, this condition worsens progressively over time.
Foot deformities like hammertoes aren’t only an issue because of aesthetics, although this issue can absolutely harm your self-confidence in your appearance as well as your foot health. Untreated hammertoes can lead to damage for the skin of your feet, in addition to progressing deformity of your muscles and tendons.
Experienced podiatrist Dr. Steve Sharlin understands all the ways untreated hammertoes can become a problem for your health. Dr. Sharlin treats new and existing patients with hammertoes from The Foot Care Group in Hinsdale, Libertyville, and the Streeterville community of Chicago, Illinois.
Hammertoes don’t just affect the appearance of your feet. Here’s what you need to know about the potential complications of hammertoes, and why seeking treatment is the right choice for this type of toe deformity.
1. Problems with shoe fit
Hammertoes on one of your feet mean that your shoes won’t fit correctly. This isn’t an aesthetic issue, although ill-fitting shoes can look unpolished.
Without the right support from your footwear, your feet suffer from undue wear-and-tear. Your skin is particularly at risk from ill-fitting footwear.
2. Calluses and corns
Due to issues with your footwear causing friction on your foot skin, hammertoes put you at increased risk for calluses and corns. These roughened areas build up over time, and can become painful and difficult to remove.
3. Blisters and open sores
Friction from shoes rubbing incorrectly around hammertoes can also result in blisters and open sores. These wounds in your skin create openings for harmful bacteria to enter your body. It’s especially important to protect yourself against blisters if you need diabetic foot care!
4. Worsening toe deformity
If you don’t take steps to deal with the issue of your hammertoes, the degree of deformity only worsens.
As hammertoes continue to develop, at a certain point, you might not be able to control the bend in your toes. The structure of your muscles and tendons fundamentally changes, and there can even be a neurological component to severe, untreated cases of hammertoe.
5. More intensive treatment needs
While early treatment is typically non-invasive, if your condition goes untreated for too long, your foot restoration could require surgery to complete. You benefit from early treatment and detection. But, Dr. Sharlin offers a full range for mild, moderate, and severe cases of hammertoe at The Foot Care Group, so if you need intensive treatment, it’s here for you.
If your toes show signs of deformity, or if your hammertoes have continued to progress for some time without treatment, there’s no time like the present to get started addressing the problem. Contact Dr. Sharlin and the podiatry team at The Foot Care Group today! Schedule your initial consultation appointment online or over the phone now.