What Are Hammertoes?

Foot pain is a common and frustrating situation. However, with help from your podiatrist, you can pinpoint the cause of your foot pain and hammertoesovercome your condition to feel great and remain active. Hammertoes are a common cause of foot pain and a treatable and even curable condition. Find out more about hammertoes, what they are, and how your podiatrist can help them with Dr. Michael Guerra in South Burlington, VT.

What is a hammertoe? 
A hammertoe occurs when a toe, normally the second, third, or fourth toe, curls under and resembles the claw side of a hammer. The toe often has corns or calluses on top due to the friction caused by the toe rubbing on the shoe. Hammertoes can be stiff or flexible, depending on the stage of the deformity. Stiff hammertoes tend to be further advanced than flexible hammertoes, requiring more intensive treatment to correct.

Do I have a hammertoe? 
If one or more of your toes has curled under, you probably have a hammertoe. The toe may have corns or calluses on the top side due to rubbing on your shoe. Hammertoe often begins painlessly and become uncomfortable over a long period of time, often many years. Hammertoe in its later stages may cause pain while standing or walking, swelling or redness around the toe’s joint, decreased range of motion, and pain on the ball of the foot.

How can my podiatrist help? 
Your doctor will use a physical examination to visually assess your foot and toes. If necessary, they will use an x-ray to further investigate your symptoms. From there, your doctor will determine the stage of your condition and the best treatment plan for you. In some cases, your doctor may simply have you avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes and watch the hammertoe over time to ensure that it does not get worse. However, more advanced hammertoes require more in-depth treatments.

Hammertoe Treatments in South Burlington, VT 
Treatments for hammertoe vary from patient to patient. More mild cases may only require simple lifestyle changes like wearing better fitting shoes. However, advanced cases of hammertoe may require a surgical procedure to straighten the toe and realign the connective tissues which cause it to curl.

For more information on hammertoes or treating them, please contact your podiatrist, Dr. Michael Guerra, in South Burlington, VT. Call (802) 862-8666 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Guerra today!