Hammertoes offered in The Woodlands, Huntsville, and most of the Greater Houston area

Hammertoes offered in The Woodlands, Huntsville, and most of the Greater Houston area

Are your toes starting to curl, making them look more like a claw and making it painful to wear shoes? Hammertoe is the most likely culprit. The experienced podiatrists at the Foot and Ankle Specialists encourage you to seek early treatment for bent toes. If you wait too long, conservative care won’t help and you’ll need surgery to restore your toes’ normal shape. Call the office in The Woodlands, Memorial City, or Huntsville, Texas, today or book online to schedule an appointment.

What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a deformity that usually affects the second, third, and fourth toes. The problem occurs when the top of your toe bends down, forming a C or clawlike shape.

The longer the toe stays bent, the more it affects the muscles and tendons that control the toe’s movement. Tendons work in pairs, with one bending and another straightening the toe.

If the toe stays bent, the tendons tighten, making it hard or impossible for the opposing muscle to straighten the toe. Sometimes, small capsules around the joint cause ongoing contraction.

You might end up with hammertoe if tight shoes or an injury bend the toes. You can also inherit a tendency to develop hammertoe.

What symptoms does hammertoe cause?

The abnormal toe position is the most obvious symptom of hammertoe. You can also experience:

  • Pain when wearing shoes
  • Pain when moving the toe
  • Corns on top of the toe
  • Limited toe movement
  • Redness and swelling
  • Pain in the ball of the foot

If you have severe hammertoe, you won’t be able to put on your shoes.

How is hammertoe treated?

At first, the tendons and toes still have some flexibility. While the toe can still move, the Foot and Ankle Specialists of The Woodlands treat the deformity with one or more of the following:

  • Splinting
  • Custom-fitted orthotics (personalized shoe inserts)
  • Padding and taping
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Stretching exercises
  • Recommend shoes with more toe space
  • Recommend shoes without pointed toes or high heels

If you don’t get early treatment, the deformity gets worse, and muscle contractures form. Contractures occur when the muscles get so stiff that you can’t straighten the toe, even if you try to force it. At this stage, surgery is your only choice.

What should I expect during hammertoe surgery?

When you need surgery, the Foot and Ankle Specialists of The Woodlands do a procedure called hammertoe correction. This outpatient procedure requires minimal anesthesia and usually takes less than an hour.

Your podiatric surgeon releases the tendon and trims away a tiny piece of bone. They realign the bones using a small silicone implant to ensure they stay in the correct position.

If you notice you have hammertoe, call the Foot and Ankle Specialists of The Woodlands today or book your appointment online.