Do one or more of your middle toes bend in a hammerhead or claw-like position? If so, hammertoe may be to blame. At Gentle Foot Care Clinic in Zephyrhills and Brandon, Florida, Jairo Cruz, DPM, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of this common foot deformity. Using safe, effective means of treatment, he can help you feel better. Make an appointment today by calling the office nearest you or by using the online booking tool.
Hammertoe is a common foot deformity that develops as a result of an imbalance between the ligaments, muscles, and tendons in one or more of your middle toes. Your foot structure, a history of previous injuries, or the type of shoes you wear can all contribute to hammertoe and increase your risk of the condition.
Toes affected by hammertoe stay in a curved, claw-like position. Left untreated, hammertoe may become permanent, preventing you from straightening your toes completely. The condition can also make it difficult to walk or participate in sports or other physical activities.
The most obvious symptom of hammertoe is a toe that features an abnormal bend in one of the middle joints. You might also notice that moving the affected toe is difficult or painful. If you have hammertoe, you’re also more likely to develop corns or calluses on the affected toe.
Hammertoe affects people of all ages, including men, women, and children. That said, you’re more likely to develop hammertoe if you’re middle-aged or older, a woman, or you have a second toe that’s longer than your big toe. You’re also more likely to develop hammertoe if you’re living with a chronic condition such as diabetes or arthritis.
To diagnose hammertoe, Dr. Cruz physically examines your feet and toes. He also takes a series of X-rays to further evaluate the joints and bones in your feet and toes. Dr. Cruz might also ask you to stand up or walk around the exam room so he can monitor your gait and posture.
To treat hammertoe, Dr. Cruz usually recommends noninvasive means. For example, he might recommend you start wearing more comfortable, padded shoes with a larger toe box. He might also recommend a series of at-home exercises to strengthen the muscles and ligaments in your toes.
If conservative measures of care don’t provide relief, surgical intervention may be necessary. This might include removing a piece of bone from your foot or releasing a tendon so that your toe can life flat.
If hammertoe is interfering with your mobility or quality of life, make an appointment at Gentle Foot Care Clinic by calling the office nearest you or by clicking the online booking tool today.