Hammertoe is a type of foot deformity that arises due to an imbalance in the ligaments, tendons, or muscles that usually hold the toe straight. It causes the affected toe to bend upwards, resembling a hammer. This deformity can be caused by injury to the foot, your choice of footwear, and the structure of your foot. Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dharia are your Fairfax podiatrists who specializes in the treatment of hammertoe.
Two Types of Hammertoes
- Flexible hammertoe: In the early stages of this condition, it can be treated by wearing flat shoes that are at least a half-inch longer than your longest toe. Foot exercises, such as picking up small objects with your toes, may help to increase the flexibility of the affected toe. Hot and cold treatment may help with swelling and pain. You may also find comfort in placing a pad over the toe to prevent shoes from rubbing the skin.
- Rigid hammertoe: In the second stage of the condition, the toe joint becomes inflexible. In this case, the home treatments suggested above may only offer a brief respite from symptoms. Your podiatrist may suggest making a customized orthotic device. If this does not work, surgery may be an option.
Symptoms of Hammertoe
Hammertoe causes an abnormal bend in the middle joint a toe. It can occur in any toe, though typically the second, third or fourth toes are affected. The deformity is clearly visible. Symptoms include:
- Movement causes pain in the affected toe
- Callouses and corns may develop in the affected joint
- A burning sensation may be felt
- Visible swelling and redness
- A burning sensation around the affected joint
Surgery for Hammertoe
Types of surgery for hammertoe include:
- Tendon transfer: In this type of surgery, the tendon is pulled across the top of the joint of the affected toe. This realigns the toe and improves its appearance. It also minimizes pain.
- Fusion: A portion of the joint is removed to allow the bone in the toe to grow together. This type of surgery straightens the toe and minimizes pain.
If you’re looking for a podiatrist in Fairfax, VA, call Drs. Steven Vetter and Jugal Dharia today on (703) 352-8888 to make an appointment at Oakton Foot and Ankle Center.