Without treatment, the abnormal bend of hammertoes can worsen, cause complications, and require invasive care. At PREMIER PODIATRY, INC, podiatrist Dr. Dozier offers surgical and nonsurgical treatment for hammertoe, so you get relief and avoid serious issues. To schedule an appointment for hammertoe with PREMIER PODIATRY, INC, call the office in Bethlehem, Georgia, or book online today.

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What is hammertoe?

Hammertoe usually affects your second, third, or fourth toes. It describes an abnormal bend in the middle joint that can put your foot in an unusual position. Hammertoe can lead to pain while walking or running. When addressed early on, you can avoid these complications.

Why did I develop hammertoe?

Your toes are held straight by a group of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Hammertoe results when these tissues fall out of balance. Wearing shoes that are too narrow or tight in the toe box can contribute to hammertoe.

Hammertoe can also result due to:

  • Prior foot trauma, such as a broken toe
  • Medical conditions like diabetes or arthritis
  • Aging
  • Genetic predisposition to toe muscle imbalances

People who have second toes longer than their first toe are also more prone to developing hammertoe.

Whatever the reason for your hammertoe, early intervention can prevent long-term problems and complications.

How does a doctor diagnose hammertoe?

Dr. Dozier evaluates your toes and looks for an abnormal bend in the toe joint that’s causing pain while you’re wearing shoes. Sometimes, you develop corns and calluses at the top of the bent toes, where they rub against your shoe. She may order X-rays to confirm your diagnosis.

What is involved in hammertoe treatment?

Hammertoe is simple to treat in its early stages, so it’s important to contact Dr. Dozier when you first notice symptoms. Hammertoe won’t improve without treatment and usually worsens when left alone.

In its initial stages, hammertoe is reversible with shoe changes and orthotic inserts customized to your foot. Other treatments for hammertoe include:

  • Splinting or strapping the toe
  • Padding corns and calluses
  • Exercises to stretch and strengthen your foot muscles
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain

If your hammertoe causes inflexibility in your toe and severe pain that doesn’t respond to conservative measures, only surgery can correct it. Surgery may involve tendon lengthening, tendon transfer, or joint fusion surgery. Dr. Dozier customizes your treatment plan so you get the necessary relief.

To schedule an appointment for hammertoe with PREMIER PODIATRY, INC, call the office in Bethlehem, Georgia, or book online today.