Up to 3% of Americans have hammertoes, a condition that causes one or more of your toe joints to stay bent. At Advanced Foot Care and Clinical Research Center, board-certified podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons Jay Mukker, DPM, FABPM, CWSP, and Gavin Lee, DPM, specialize in managing and treating hammertoes. To make an appointment, call the office in Fresno or Madera, California, or book online today.
Hammertoes occur when an imbalance between the muscles, tendons, and ligaments keeps your toe straight. Over time, the imbalance causes your affected joint to bend instead of lying flat. Without treatment, the joint might lock, resulting in chronic pain and mobility issues.
The symptoms of hammertoes include:
As the bend worsens, you might also experience pain or sensitivity in the ball of your foot.
Hammertoes form due to an imbalance between the soft tissues that hold your toe straight. That imbalance may occur for various reasons, including:
If you’re concerned about the risk of hammertoes, contact Advanced Foot Care and Clinical Research Center.
To diagnose a hammertoe, your Advanced Foot Care and Clinical Research Center provider reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including when you first noticed the bent toe and if you’ve tried at-home treatment, like ice.
Next, they examine your toe, gently moving it back and forth and from side to side to assess its strength, range of motion, and flexibility. Your provider also orders X-rays to assess the bones and joints at the front of your foot.
Treatment of hammertoes depends on several factors, including your age, the severity of your symptoms, and their effect on your daily routine. Your Advanced Foot Care and Clinical Research Center provider might recommend:
If conservative treatment doesn’t bring lasting relief, your provider might recommend surgery. During hammertoe surgery, they use special tools to realign your joint and correct your toe’s position.
Recovery after hammertoe surgery typically takes 4-6 weeks. During that time, take your medication as prescribed, get plenty of rest, and avoid strenuous activities. Once your body begins healing, enrolling in physical therapy and rehabilitation is crucial.
Rehab teaches you stretches and strengthening exercises that can help restore your mobility and range of motion.
To learn more about the treatment of hammertoes, make an appointment at Advanced Foot Care and Clinical Research Center by calling the nearest office or booking online today.