Advanced Family Foot Care Centers
Murad Abdel-Qader, DPM
Foot and Ankle Surgeon & Diabetic Wound Care Specialist located in San Antonio, TX
Hammertoe is a common condition, but one that leaves many people feeling self-conscious about the appearance of their feet. Fortunately, help is available through the care of Murad Abdel-Qader, DPM, at Advanced Family Foot Care Centers in San Antonio, Texas. When you’re ready to learn more about your options for treating hammertoe, call the office to book a consultation or try the easy online scheduling tool.
What is hammertoe?
Hammertoe is the term used to describe a foot deformity that changes the alignment of your toes. The condition usually occurs in the second, third, or fourth toe.
The first sign you have hammertoe is a visibly abnormal bend in the middle joint of one or more toes. This causes the middle portion of the toe to raise upward.
When this condition occurs in the joint that sits just beneath your toenail, it’s called mallet toe. It has a similar appearance to hammertoe and is treated the same way.
Both hammertoe and mallet toe can cause foot pain. You might find it difficult to move the affected toe, and wearing shoes might lead to soreness and redness on the raised joint.
What causes hammertoe, and can it be prevented?
Traumatic injury is a leading cause of hammertoe and mallet toe. These injuries can happen during athletic or fitness activities, or from something as simple as stubbing a toe on furniture.
Being careful around the house and wearing the proper footwear during exercise or training can reduce your risk.
Wearing high heels, overly tight shoes, or shoes with a narrow fit at the toes can all contribute to hammertoe and mallet toe. Be sure your shoes fit properly and allow plenty of room for your toes to sit in a natural position.
Some people develop hammertoe or mallet toe as a result of abnormal muscle placement within the foot. If your muscles don’t work to stabilize your foot, you can experience contraction in the toes and abnormal joint alignment.
What are some treatment options for hammertoe?
Dr. Abdel-Qader begins with a thorough diagnostic exam. You may need an X-ray to determine the alignment of your bones and joints.
Some cases of hammertoe and mallet toe can be treated by changing your footwear. You might need to wear special inserts called orthotics to give your feet better support or wear padding in your shoes to relieve pressure on the affected toe joints.
Certain exercises can also improve hammertoe or mallet toe. Strengthening and stretching the toe muscles can help move the joints into optimal alignment.
In cases where a tendon is preventing the toe from straightening, surgery might be the best treatment approach. Another surgical option involves removing a small area of bone to create better toe alignment.
If you’d like to learn more about treating hammertoe or mallet toe, call the office today to check appointment availability or use online scheduling, which is simple and easy.