A hammertoe is a foot deformity affecting the second, third, or fourth toe. It causes an abnormal upward bend in the middle joint of the toe. Early diagnosis and treatment of a hammertoe may prevent the need for surgical intervention. Joel Davis, MD, and the team at Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Associates in Edmond, Oklahoma, provide expert foot care for hammertoes. Call the office or schedule a consultation online today.
A hammertoe is a foot deformity causing an abnormal bend in the middle joint of your second, third, or fourth toe. The bending occurs because of an imbalance in muscle pressure on the tendons in the toe.
Muscles work together to straighten and bend your toes. If your toe stays in a bent position for too long, the muscles and joints tighten, preventing you from straightening the toe.
The muscle imbalance may develop from a mechanical or neurological problem in the foot.
The abnormal bend in your toe causes pain when the joint or tip of your toe rubs against your shoes. You may also develop corns or calluses at the points of friction. Your symptoms may worsen over time, leading to inflammation or a burning sensation when walking.
During the early stages of a hammertoe, your muscles, tendons, and joints may remain somewhat flexible. However, when left untreated, the joint and tissues stiffen, becoming inflexible.
The Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Associates team recommends scheduling a consultation for your hammertoe during the early stages, which may prevent or delay the progression of your foot deformity.
You can expect a patient-centered and comprehensive exam when you visit Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Associates for a hammertoe consultation.
Your provider reviews your symptoms, examines your feet, and performs X-rays to diagnose your foot deformity and assess the severity of your contracture.
The Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Associates team creates individualized treatment plans for hammertoes based on the severity of your deformity and symptoms. During the early stages, the team takes a conservative approach to care, recommending:
For rigid hammertoes or hammertoes causing severe pain that limits mobility, the Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Associates team may recommend surgery. Hammertoe surgery involves fusion of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint.
During this procedure, your surgeon cleans the joint and fixes the bones together with a Kirschner wire (K-wire), which is kept in place for six weeks and then removed.
For management of your hammertoe, call Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Associates or schedule an appointment online today.