Hammer Toe Specialist In Michiana, Northern Indiana, and Southwest Michigan Area
Hammertoe Treatment Experts in Elkhart, Granger, Goshen, Middlebury, and Nappanee, Indiana
What Is Hammertoe?
Hammertoe is a foot deformity affecting the second, third, or fourth toes, where the middle joint is abnormally and sometimes painfully bent. This condition resembles a hammer, hence the name "hammertoe." It starts as a flexible issue that can initially be corrected through simple measures. However, if left untreated, hammertoes can become rigid, making surgical intervention necessary.
What Are The Symptoms of Hammertoe?
People with hammertoe often experience discomfort, particularly during movement or while wearing shoes. Symptoms include:
- Swelling or redness of the affected toe
- Difficulty in straightening the toe
- Challenges in walking
- Formation of corns or calluses on the toe's middle joint or tip
- Exploring the Causes of Hammertoe
Hammertoe primarily arises from an imbalance in the muscles, leading to undue pressure on the tendons and joints in the toes. This imbalance is frequently attributed to wearing ill-fitting footwear that is either too tight, too loose, or excessively high-heeled.
Effective Hammertoe Treatments at OSMC
Our specialists at OSMC offer comprehensive hammertoe treatment options. In the early stages, non-surgical methods can effectively address the issue, such as:
Footwear Adjustments: Opt for shoes with ample space, lower heels, and a soft toe area.
Toe Exercises: Strengthening and stretching exercises to improve toe flexibility.
Over-the-Counter Remedies: Utilizing straps, cushions, or corn pads for pain relief.
In more advanced cases, surgical treatments are available:
Tendon Lengthening: Beneficial for patients with a flexible toe joint, focusing on balancing the tendons.
Tendon Transfer: Effective for certain cases, this involves realigning tendons to correct the toe's position.
Joint Fusion: For stiff toe joints, this procedure combines tendon lengthening with arthrodesis, where a segment of bone is removed to allow greater toe movement.
When Should I See a Doctor About Hammertoe Symptoms?
If you're experiencing symptoms of hammer toe, it's advisable to see a doctor, especially in the following situations:
- You’re experiencing persistent, worsening pain
- Difficulty walking or bearing weight on the foot
- Visible deformity of the foot and toe
- Home remedies haven’t helped
- Signs of infection, swelling, redness, or open sores and discoloration of the foot
Remember, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent hammer toe progression and reduce the need for surgical intervention.
Recovery Post-Hammertoe Surgery
Post-surgery recovery typically involves 4-6 weeks of reduced activity, with symptoms like toe stiffness, swelling, and redness. Proper foot elevation can speed up recovery and reduce discomfort. It's important to note that the operated toe may appear slightly different in length post-recovery.
Contact OSMC for Expert Hammertoe Care
Don't let hammertoe discomfort disrupt your life. Connect with our foot and ankle specialists at OSMC for personalized care and treatment plans. Schedule your appointment today by calling us at (574) 319-9697. Our team is ready to assist you at our Elkhart, Granger, Goshen, Middlebury, and Nappanee, Indiana locations. We also offer two walk-in orthopedic clinics so we can help address your pain at the moment.
OSMC Foot & Ankle Specialists