Your second toe is bent at the middle joint so much that it rubs against the inside of your shoe. You have a callus, and frankly, your foot hurts with the simple activities of daily living. Should you seek treatment for what likely is a hammertoe? The answer is yes. Your Ventura and Oxnard, CA, podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vines, expertly treats hammertoes, a common podiatric deformity which affects thousands of Americans just like you. Learn the details here.
What is a hammertoe?
Medically termed Hallux abductovalgus, a hammertoe is a deformed middle joint on the second or even third toe of either foot. Often resulting from pressure from a bunion, or bony bump, at the base of the big toe, a hammertoe actually resembles a hammer or mallet. Muscular imbalance accompanies and drives the problem, says the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, and typical symptoms include:
- Immobility of the joint
People who wear tight shoes and high heels (women are at risk) develop bunions as do individuals with arthritis or diabetes. Advancing age and hereditary play roles, and individuals with second toes which are longer than their big toes easily develop hammertoes, too.
How Dr. Vines can help
Dr. Vines will inspect your foot and confirm the diagnosis of hammertoe with digital X-ray imaging in his Ventura and Oxnard office. Then, he'll formulate a treatment plan based on your physical health, lifestyle, and level of discomfort. While surgery is an option for correction of hammertoe, most people respond well to conservative measures such as:
- Relief of pain with over-the-counter ibuprofen or in-office cortisone injections
- Shoe padding
- Removal of corns and calluses
- Stretching exercises
- Change of footwear to something with a wider toe box and lower heel
- Customized orthotics, or shoe inserts, to correct gait and relieve pressure
Find relief for hammertoes
You can with treatment from Dr. Vines. This deformity will become progressively worse if ignored. So, if you're in pain and see something happening to the shape and size of your toe, call our office right away for a consultation. We have two offices for your convenience. In Oxnard, call (805) 485-3151, or for the Ventura location, phone (805) 648-3222.