The deformity is known as “hammertoe” causes the joints of one or more of your middle toes to bend at the end into the shape of a hammer. If all four small toes are bending, the condition is called claw foot. The big toe is the only one that isn’t susceptible to bending in this manner.
An imbalance between the muscles and tendons in the toes causes the deformity. Shoes that are too tight can push the toes together and contribute further to the bending. Hammertoes that are left untreated will continue to bend and become rigid. At that point, surgery may be needed to straighten them. Treating them earlier to help avoid surgery can be done with a variety of methods.
4 early treatments for hammertoes include the following:
- Physical therapy—Stretching and strengthening exercises including picking up marbles with your toes and doing calf raises are among the many physical therapy exercises you can try.
- Properly fitted shoes—Supportive yet comfortable shoes with a wide toe box and low heel cups will provide room for inserts and help prevent friction.
- Orthotic inserts and devices—along with properly fitted shoes can be used to isolate and cushion the toes and help to correct the balance problems between the tendons and muscles.
- Insulating cushions and pads—Moleskin pads and cushioning devices will help prevent rubbing while insulating corns and calluses.
If you need help treating hammertoes, the foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors that includes Geoffrey C. Epstein, DPM, Matthew J. Tavroff, DPM, Stuart B. Leon, DPM, and Robert J. Leon, DPM is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631)-549-8637 and Briarwood, NY (718)-657-8921.