When the joints in one or more of our toes develop an abnormal bend that causes irritation and pain when we walk, that’s a condition podiatrists call hammertoe. The most critical fact to know about this relatively common deformity is that it never resolves on its own, so it’s important to schedule a visit to the doctor of podiatry at Active Ankle and Foot Care Specialist. Immediate attention can keep this problem from progressing into something more serious that could require surgery.
What causes this condition? Most commonly it’s an imbalance of the muscle and tendon in the toe, which can trigger structural or neurological changes. The symptoms — irritation when wearing shoes, calluses and corns on or between the toes and on the ball of the foot, inflammation or a burning feeling — start out mild but get progressively worse if untreated. A doctor of podiatry is best qualified to perform an examination to diagnose the problem and recommend the optimal course of treatment.
Although the condition may appear plain to the eye, a hands-on exam and X-rays may still be necessary to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the injury. Each case of hammertoe presents differently, and our foot and ankle expert will want as much detail as possible to ensure each patient receives the best possible care. Sometimes the symptoms of hammertoe can be treated by simply a change in footwear, a custom-made orthotic, or through medication. In cases where the toe has become painful and rigid, or when there is an open sore, surgery may be recommended. If that’s the case, no one is better trained and equipped than our foot and ankle surgeon to perform this procedure.
When it comes to your feet, trust the doctor of podiatry at Active Ankle and Foot Care Specialist to provide expertise and attentiveness that are simply unmatched. Our doctor and staff make each patient feel cared for and comfortable. Please contact our office today to arrange an appointment.