Hammertoes are a foot deformity that can make the completion of daily tasks like walking or wearing your favorite shoes feel painful. Hammertoes can be a hindrance to many people’s lives, yet they are a fairly common occurrence. While hammertoes can be both unsightly and uncomfortable to those who experience them, there are many effective treatment options for this deformity. If you are wondering what hammertoe corrections can look like, keep reading.
What is a Hammertoe?
Before learning about hammertoe corrections, it’s important to understand what a hammertoe is and how it is formed. Visually, a hammertoe usually involves an upward turned toe and even a corn or callus on top of your foot. There are two types of hammertoes: flexible hammertoes, which can still bend at the joint, and rigid hammertoes, which are unable to do so. The type of hammertoe a patient experiences will determine the treatment options available to them upon diagnosis.
Hammertoes are most commonly found in women, and can develop over time due to imbalance in the tendons, ligaments, or muscles of the toe. Just like similar foot deformities such as bunions or bone spurs, improper or poorly fitting footwear is one of the leading causes. Hammertoes are also more common in individuals experiencing other medical complications such as diabetes or arthritis.
Now that you understand how this uncomfortable foot deformity can occur, you might be wondering how to fix a hammertoe. Unfortunately for many patients, hammertoes tend to get worse over time if left untreated. While you might find yourself dealing with a hammertoe that isn’t particularly painful, it will not go away on its own – and if you don’t consult a professional for help, your pain levels will worsen until you are no longer able to walk without experiencing extreme discomfort.
The good news is that the early diagnosis of a hammertoe gives a patient the option to adopt nonsurgical methods to alleviate the pain and symptoms associated with hammertoes, as well as make some progress toward correcting them.
If a patient has flexible hammertoes, a doctor may recommend that they try non-surgical methods to deal with the issue, such as:
- Switching to more comfortable footwear or wearing shoe inserts to cushion and reposition the toes
- Performing toe exercises to improve muscle strength
Once a hammertoe is no longer able to bend at the joint and has become fully rigid, it is likely that surgery will be required to correct this issue.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Minimally invasive surgery is the safest and most effective way to relieve pain associated with hammertoes quickly. Patients who choose to undergo minimally invasive hammertoe surgery won’t have to deal with an extensive recovery period or months of immobility, due to the use of a small incision during the procedure which both limits scarring and cuts down on healing time. Minimally invasive hammertoe surgery is a simple outpatient procedure that lasts about 90 minutes total, and patients are able to walk, drive, and return to work nearly immediately after surgery.
At Northwest Surgery Center, our expert team of surgeons has the skills, resources, and the experience to ensure positive outcomes for our patients. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free consultation and let us help you get one of our hammertoe corrections started.