Foot pain can prove to be irritating, frustrating, and affect the most simple of everyday tasks like standing and walking. Hammertoe can be painful or even cause other annoying and painful conditions. However, hammertoe is treatable with help from your Oxnard, CA podiatrist. Learn more about hammertoe and its treatment with Dr. Steven M. Vines.
What is a hammertoe?
A hammertoe is a deformity which usually occurs in the second, third, or fourth toes. The condition gets its name from the way the foot deforms. The toe becomes curled at the joint connecting its top half to its bottom half, eventually resembling a hammer. Hammertoes often occur due to wearing ill-fitting, narrow, or high-heeled shoes over a long period of time. Genetics and problems with the muscles in the toe and foot can also cause hammertoes.
How do I know I have a hammertoe?
If you notice an abnormal bend in one of your toes, you could have a hammertoe. Usually, the toe points downward, resembling the claw side of a hammer. Corns and calluses may develop around the hammertoe, a result of the toe rubbing against the other toes or shoes. Older individuals and women are more at-risk for hammertoe development than others. Arthritis and diabetes may also increase the risk of developing a hammertoe. Finally, toes which are longer than normal, or those with a longer second toe than a big toe, may pose more of a risk for hammertoe.
Hammertoe Treatment in Oxnard, CA
After a physical examination and, if necessary, x-rays to determine there are no other underlying causes contributing to your hammertoe, you doctor will recommend the best treatment for you. Often, the first treatment offered is to simply change to roomier, more comfortable shoes with a larger toe box. Custom orthotics or padding placed inside of the shoes may also help negate the effects of hammertoes. Physical therapy can help strengthen the toe to restore its range of motion. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to straighten and realign the toe.
For more information on hammertoe, please contact Dr. Steven M. Vines in Oxnard, CA. Call 805-485-3151 to schedule your foot examination with Dr. Vines today!