Could this foot deformity affect the shape and health of your feet?
Are your toes starting to look more claw-like and bent out of shape as you get older? If you said “yes,” you may be dealing with a joint deformity known as hammertoes. Sure, the name doesn’t sound too pleasant, and the condition isn’t too pleasant either. Still, our Springfield and Decatur, IL, podiatrists Dr. John Sigle, Dr. Grant Gonzalez, and Dr. Christopher Collazo can provide you with the care you need to prevent this deformity from getting worse.
What is a hammertoe?
A hammertoe is a common deformity that affects the middle joint in one or more toes, which leads to a bent toe joint that resembles a claw. Hammertoes are often the result of a structural imbalance within the foot, and the condition most commonly affects the smaller toes.
Hammertoes can be either flexible or rigid. A flexible hammertoe means that it’s moveable, and you’ll be able to straighten out the toe; however, if you can’t straighten the toe, you have a more advanced form known as a rigid hammertoe.
What are the warning signs of a hammertoe?
The most obvious sign of a hammertoe is if the toe is bent downward at the middle joint. As a result of this deformity and because the toe is more likely to develop irritation when wearing shoes, you may also notice the development of a callus on the affected joint.
Suppose you notice swelling, pain, or other signs of hammertoes. In that case, it’s time to have our Springfield and Decatur, IL, foot doctor evaluate your condition to determine whether you have a hammertoe or another issue blame.
How is a hammertoe treated?
While the deformity won’t go away without surgical repair, more often than not, we can manage this issue and make sure it doesn’t get worse with simple, conservative options such as,
- Wearing proper footwear that won’t bunch up your toes
- Applying a protective pad over the joint to prevent a callus from forming
- Taking OTC painkillers or icing the foot if you experience discomfort or swelling
- Performing daily foot exercises to strengthen the muscles in your foot and improving the imbalance (we can show you some exercises when you come in for your evaluation)
If you think you may be dealing with a hammertoe, but you aren’t sure, now is the time to get it properly checked out. The sooner you seek professional podiatry care in Springfield and Decatur, IL, the better. Turn to Foot & Ankle Center of Illinois. Call us at (217) 787-2700 today.