Does Hammertoe Mean I Need Surgery?

In general, hammertoes do not require surgery. However, there are people who will need this procedure if they have an extreme case. We’ll look at what you should know about hammertoe in Pflugerville or Austin, TX and why surgical intervention should be the last resort.

Flexible Hammertoes

A hammertoe is defined as an abnormality in any of the middle toes. If the second, third, or fourth little piggy becomes bent in the middle, it will cause stress on the muscles and joints that surround it. Called hammertoe because it makes one of your toes look a little like the tool, they start off as flexible problems. It’s only if they’re gone untreated by a podiatrist in Pflugerville or Austin, TX that they become more of a permanent condition.

Why Does Hammer Toe Happen?

The most common reason for hammer toe is wearing shoes that don’t fit. If your footwear narrows toward the toe, it can cause your smaller toes to become bent. If this goes on for long enough, the toe muscles will no longer be strong enough to straighten out the toe.

In addition to being unable to straighten your toes, common symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Corns/calluses on the tip of the toe or top middle joint
  • Trouble walking

Podiatrists in Pflugerville or Austin, TX

The most common treatments for hammertoe include changing shoes, wearing inserts, splinting the toe together, or completing special exercises to strengthen the toes. If you have questions about your hammer toe in Pflugerville, TX or you’re discouraged because home remedies have only done so much to solve the problem, Dr. Jeffrey W. LaMour, DPM may be able to help. Our goal is always to help the people of Austin and Pflugerville avoid surgery whenever possible. Contact us today if you don’t want it to get any worse.

What Can Be Done for Hammertoe?

Does your second, third, or fourth toe have an unusual bend at the middle joint? If so, you may be suffering from a condition known as hammertoe. Unlike it sounds, hammertoe is not caused by dropping a heavy tool on your foot. Rather, it happens because something has caused an imbalance in the muscle or tendon that usually holds the toe straight.

Many things may contribute to hammertoe, including diseases such as arthritis or even the type of shoes you wear. Regardless, most people who have hammertoe find it to be a painful condition. For this reason, a visit to your podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX, is recommended.

Why Hammertoe Is Painful

Often, the unusual bend in a hammertoe causes the toe to rub against your shoe repeatedly. Over time, painful blisters may form, and later — corns or calluses. The best way to relieve the pain of hammertoe is to prevent the toe from coming into wrong contact with your shoe.

Your podiatrist in Austin or Pflugerville, TX, may be able to recommend a different type or size of shoe that may help. Or sometimes, they may suggest special pads made to prevent corns and calluses from friction. Shoe inserts are also sometimes helpful.

Is There a Way to Correct Hammertoe?

Hammertoe can usually be corrected through simple surgery. Your surgeon may snip the tendon or muscle that’s causing the deformity. Or, they may remove a small portion of bone to help your toe return to it’s normal, flat position. Surgery is usually a last resort, however. And your podiatrist will try to find less invasive methods to ease the pain of hammertoe first.

For diagnosis and treatment of hammertoe in Austin or Pflugerville, TX, call Dr. Jeffery LaMour, DPM,PA, today.

A Look at Non-Invasive Treatments for Hammertoe

When hammertoe starts making it difficult to walk, climb stairs, and even simply wear shoes, you need a prompt solution. Although surgery is an option for severe cases, it’s often best to start with non-invasive treatments with help from your Austin, TX, podiatrist. Here’s a look at several hammertoe treatments you might want to try.

Switch Up Your Footwear

Although most footwear will cause discomfort as your hammertoe rubs against its rough material, certain shoes can cause excruciating pain. In that case, it’s necessary to quit wearing those shoes altogether as it’s likely making the problem worse.

Instead, seek out footwear that only causes mild discomfort at worst plus wear shoe inserts. The inserts can help shift your weight to relieve friction and make it possible to get through the day with shoes on your feet. You can also bandage your hammertoe to shield your skin from friction.

Consider Taping or Splinting

If a simple bandage doesn’t provide enough relief, you can buddy tape it to an adjacent toe to ease it back into the proper position. This can ease the pain temporarily as you go about your day, although it’s important to minimize how much time the toe remains taped up.

When tape doesn’t quite do it, you can wear a splint that gently straightens the joint and holds your toe flat. Eventually, the splint and other methods will fail to work as the toe becomes more rigid. At that point, you’ll need to discuss surgery with your Austin podiatrist.

Complete Your Exercises

When you visit your podiatrist, they will give you a series of exercises to complete at home to keep the joint flexible. Each exercise focuses on stretching out the ligaments, tendons, and ligaments in the affected foot. Although exercise will slow it down, the hammertoe is likely to grow more rigid over time anyway, resulting in the need for permanent correction through surgery.

Ready to Seek Hammertoe Treatment in Austin TX?

Are you more than ready to say goodbye to the pain and discomfort caused by hammertoe? You can seek hammertoe treatment in Austin, TX, with a visit to Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA. Just call 512-451-3668 to schedule a visit, so you can get an exam and discuss all the treatment options, including surgical correction.