Hammertoes hammering away at your ability to enjoy daily activities without discomfort? You’re definitely not alone. This frustrating condition affects many, but the good news is you have treatment options available to you, and an experienced team to help you sort through them.
Treatment for this condition can be either conservative or surgical. In many cases surgery may ultimately be the best choice, especially if your joints have become rigid and inflexible and there’s a lot of persistent pain; however, we do provide a fair amount of conservative options and we don’t want to rush you to the operating room. Although conservative care won’t be able to reverse any bending that’s already occurred, it may be able to stop the progression, adequately alleviate your pain, and allow you to stand and move normally without discomfort.
Conservative options have the best chance at success if you seek help as soon as you notice a problem. In the early stages, the toes curl but the joints themselves remain flexible, and can be taped or splinted. Furthermore, you can do exercises to help strengthen your toe muscles and prevent further degradation, like stretching them with your fingers or using them to pick objects off the floor. We also strongly recommend adjusting your footwear choices to accommodate the deformity—go for pairs with deep, wide toe boxes. Other options include orthotics, toe pads to relieve pressure and prevent corns, and medication and icing for pain relief.
In more serious cases, and when conservative care hasn’t been sufficient, we may encourage you to consider surgical treatment. Although this will entail some swelling and post-surgical care and rehab, it’s the only way to permanently realign a bent toe, and is often the choice with the best long-term outcome. Again, there are multiple types of potential procedures; more severe cases may require more complex surgeries with more recovery time, so you definitely don’t want to drag your feet.
If you want comprehensive, compassionate care for your hammertoes, stop in to see Dr. Todd Stevens at Associates in Podiatry. Our expert team always takes the time to listen to your concerns, examine your condition, ensure that you fully understand your options, and work with you to develop the best course of action—not only for your specific problem, but also for your personal needs and lifestyle. To schedule an appointment, please call (609) 924-8333 for Princeton or (908) 687-5757 for Roselle Park.