You’ve probably heard an old concept, commonly known as the law of the instrument or Maslow’s hammer: “If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” Well, what if the hammer is the problem in the first place—or more specifically, a case of hammertoes?
The good news is that the podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Center have a wide variety of tools that can help you deal with a problem like hammertoes. The correct treatment method (or, more realistically, combination of methods) for your specific situation will depend on factors such as the severity of your symptoms, what methods have already been attempted, and your desired lifestyle outcome.
Typically, the first tools employed are conservative and non-invasive in nature. While such treatments won’t “fix” your hammertoes in the sense of straightening them out again (once toes bend, only surgery can return them to fully proper alignment), they may well fix the problem in terms of halting the progression and allowing you to return to full mobility without pain, especially if the condition is not yet severe.
Common conservative approaches include footwear modifications (picking shoes with taller and wider toe boxes, for example), padding to prevent painful corns or blisters from friction, stretches and physical therapy, splinting or taping to keep toes aligned if the joints are still flexible, or custom shoe inserts designed to accommodate or control the muscle/tendon imbalance causing the bend in the first place.
If such options prove insufficient at controlling pain, and especially if the toe joints become rigid and inflexible, then it’s probably time to consider surgical correction. Surgical procedures, of course, will vary depending on the severity of the condition—more problematic cases will require more complicated operations—but almost all cases can be performed on an out-patient basis in our office. We’ll fill you in on the details you need to know to protect the surgical site, minimize swelling and pain, and successfully rehab the toes.
Don’t let painful hammertoes wreck your foundation! The experts at Family Foot & Ankle Center have both the professional training and extensive toolkit necessary to fix this painful problem. You can request an appointment online, or you can schedule the old fashioned way by calling 888-689-3317 today.