Have you noticed one of your toes bending upwards or becoming more difficult to move? If so, we hope you’ll schedule an appointment with Integrity Foot & Ankle Associates in Lorain right away. Hammertoes, as toes with this sort of deformity are known, do not get better on their own. And if they are allowed to progress, they can result in permanent damage to the foot and seriously impact a patient’s quality of life.
A hammertoe is what we call it when the middle joint of a toe gets stuck in a bent position. (A mallet toe is a bend in the front-most joint, while the big toe only has two joints.) It usually develops slowly, and more than one toe may be affected. The bent toe will rub against a person’s shoe, causing it to chafe and develop a callus. The ball of the foot may also chafe, and the toe joint may become inflamed.
Hammertoes usually develop in women, and the first thing a person should do if they notice one developing is switch to shoes that have roomier toe boxes and won’t force their feet forward. They may also want to try stretching exercises, such as using their toes to pick up light objects. Podiatrists generally don’t recommend acidic corn-removers, as patients can injure themselves using these unsupervised. If a hammertoe continues to cause problems, we may be able to perform minor surgery to release the tendon keeping the toe bent. This would also give us an opportunity to remove any bunions that may have developed as a result of the toes being cramped and chafing against the shoe.
Doctors David J. Hintz and Michael A. Wenowitz run Integrity Foot & Ankle Associates at 1740 Cooper Foster Park Road #B, Lorain, Ohio, 44053. To schedule an appointment, visit Integrity Foot and Ankle or call 440-282-1221.