Hammertoes occur when the middle joint of one of your toes becomes stuck in a bent position. There are both flexible and rigid hammertoes, and our podiatry office in Chicago Illinois can diagnose and treat both.
The root causes of hammertoes can vary from heredity to the complications of a bunion to arthritis. Your footwear can play a role in the development of hammertoes. The pressure that is put on the joint is what leads to it becoming flexed in the first place. Women are more prone to getting them than men are, but that’s largely because they wear high heels more often. Flexible hammertoes have a minimal amount of movement left in them. Rigid hammertoes are completely immobile. Diabetes puts you at greater risk for serious problems if you already have a hammertoe, so be aware of that. Our podiatry office in Chicago Illinois recommends some lifestyle changes to address an existing hammertoe and to prevent future occurrences. Avoid heels higher than two inches and try to wear shoes that are high and broad across the toe area. There should also be minimum of a half inch space between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe. It may also be useful to apply non-medicated hammertoe pads, especially ones with a gel lining. Ice packs are often effective in reducing swelling. You should consider gently massaging the toe to reduce pain. Our podiatry office in Chicago Illinois offers treatments that include orthotics (shoe inserts), along with stretching exercises and perhaps physical therapy. Surgery is not usually needed for flexible hammertoes, but is nearly always required for rigid ones.
Let our foot doctor examine your hammertoe and make the appropriate recommendations to address it with treatment and management options. Schedule an appointment with our podiatry office in Chicago Illinois to arrange an appointment. Contact us today.