San Francisco Podiatrist – Hammertoe

A hammertoe forms when the first joint of the toe bends and contracts into a V shape. This may be caused by balance issues, arthritis or ill-fitting shoes. A flexible hammertoe is still in the developmental stage where the joint retains some movement and may be treated non-surgically. As the tendon becomes tight and the joint stiffens into misalignment, a rigid hammertoe develops. This condition more often requires surgical intervention to repair.  Signs of hammertoe include tenderness where the toe joints meet the top of the shoe, corns at the joint, joint swelling, joint pain and pain in the ball of the foot.

There are a number of things a person with a hammertoe condition can do for relief. Padding or taping the problem area can relieve some of the pressure causing pain and discomfort. Loose fitting shoes with a low heel and a deep, wide toe box will also provide more comfort. A San Francisco Podiatrist will recommend one of several treatments depending on the severity of the condition. Like many foot ailments, hammertoes are easier to treat the earlier they are brought to a doctor’s attention. A physician may recommend padding, taping and perhaps cortisone or anti-inflammatory medication to relieve symptoms. Orthotic inserts can help control the condition and prevent continued deformity. Surgical procedures also vary in intensity. In earlier stages surgeons can remove the bony lump and realign the joint. Cases where more soft tissues have become affected and the joint has become rigid require a more intensive repair.