If you need to pound a nail, grab a hammer. If you need to turn a screw, grab a screwdriver (or, if you’re in a hurry, a drill). If you need pain relief for a hammertoe, however, there’s a much broader toolkit that can be brought to the equation.
Unlike, say, assembling a cabinet, there are a variety of potential solutions here. Finding the correct treatment, or the correct combination of procedures, depends on many factors, including:
- How severe is your hammertoe? How much pain are you experiencing? Are the joints still flexible, or are they rigidly locked into place?
- Why is your toe bent in the first place? Was it caused by genetics or by injury?
- What are your lifestyle goals, needs, and restrictions?
Based on our assessment of your condition and thoroughly discussing your personal concerns, needs, and goals, our expert team will present you with a range of treatment options. Broadly speaking, these fall into one of two categories: conservative treatments which seek to prevent hammertoes from getting worse and relieve pain, or surgical treatments that correct hammertoes.
Conservative options may include:
- Switching to roomier pairs of shoes with wider, taller toe boxes that don’t cramp your feet.
- Selecting appropriate insoles or custom orthotics to cushion feet and correct any pre-existing biomechanical issues, which could be causing your hammertoes in the first place.
- Using splints or tape to hold a flexible hammertoe in a straighter alignment.
- Applying padding to sensitive areas, which can prevent the formation of secondary complications like corns and calluses.
- Stretches and exercises to both relax and strengthen the supporting muscles of the toes and foot.
If your hammertoes are severe, the unfortunate truth is that surgical tools may need to be used to relieve your pain. Fortunately, you can rest easy in the knowledge that our foot and ankle surgeons have extensive training and experience correcting hammertoes, and patients are typically extremely happy with the results.
If you want the widest range of treatment options—and the best chance of a successful remedy that doesn’t involve surgery—it’s best to seek help as early as possible. If you can’t stand the hammertoe pain, or even if the major symptoms haven’t really hit yet, give us a call. You can reach our offices in either Chandler or Gilbert, AZ by completing a contact form online, or by dialing (480) 963-9000.