You have a hammer toe if one or both joints of your second to fifth toes bend or contract. Your toe can feel an unbearable pressure due to this abnormal bending, which can develop problems like pain when wearing shoes, etc.
Typically, hammer toes occur in your foot as a mild deformity, and the condition worsens over time. If identified early, they can be treated via the best-in-class Australian non-invasive measures. However, your toes can lose their flexibility and become rigid if left untreated. They may not show better results after non-invasive treatment.
Given that the condition worsens progressively, it’s best to give them early attention and treatment.
Although several reasons can contribute to this condition, it’s how your foot functions while walking or your shoes is primarily responsible. Your toes can feel an increased pull when the tendons responsible for toe movement become overactive, or the foot is excessively mobile. In either case, the outcome is toe deformity.
Occasionally, an overuse or direct injury from sports or walking can cause trauma and put you at risk of hammer toes. Also, you are more likely to have the condition if you’re undergoing treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or any neuromuscular disease.
A few symptoms are:
- Irritation or pain in the affected toe while wearing shoes
- Burning sensation, redness, or inflammation
- Open sores in more severe cases
- Toe contracture
- A build-up of corns and calluses on the ball of the foot, between two toes, or on the toe
You can opt for a range of treatment options when suffering from hammer toe. The clinicians decide the treatment procedure depending on how severe your hammer toe is. Here are a few best non-surgical treatment approaches:
- Padding corns and calluses: When visiting a podiatrist, they may prescribe you a pad. These pads are specifically designed to protect corns against irritation. However, if you want to use a regular OTC pad, avoid medicated ones.
Why? Because medicated pads consist of a small amount of acid, which can be damaging to the affected toe. When considering such an option, consult your podiatrist.
- Changing Footwear: You should avoid wearing shoes that are too short, have pointed toes, or high heels. These circumstances can press your toe against the shoe’s front. The best solution is to wear comfortable shoes with a big, deep-toe box and two-inch heels or less.
- Orthotic Gadgets: You’ll be alright if you use a customized orthotic device. Placing them in your shoe can help you control and manage tendon/muscle imbalance.
- Injection Therapy: Your podiatrist can prescribe corticosteroid injections to you. This will help to ease inflammation and pain from hammer toe.
- Medications: NSAIDs or oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can help reduce or treat inflammation and pain.
- Strapping or Splinting: The podiatrist can work on realigning your bent toe by applying small straps or splints.
When Do You Need Surgery?
Surgery is usually needed when the hammer toe develops an open sore or becomes stiffer and more painful. It’s common to see that patients with hammer toe correct and treat their other foot deformities like bunions simultaneously.
To offer surgery or a combination of treatment procedures, the doctor will consider several factors: the number of affected toes, your activity level, your age, and the deformity level. The type of treatment procedure will determine the length of your recovery period.
So, connect with the best podiatrist in Australia and get started with one of the most effective minimally invasive techniques to get rid of hammer toes and recover quickly.
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