A hammertoe is a toe that is severely bent, assuming a claw-like position that develops when the tendons and muscles that support the toe are too short or tighten up over time. In addition to their bent appearance, hammertoes can significantly increase the risk of developing blisters, calluses and corns, especially near the side or top of the joint where the toe rubs against footwear or other toes. Over time, wearing certain types of shoes can be very painful.
Some people are born with hammertoes or develop them over time as a result of inherited foot structural problems. Other people develop hammertoes over time as a result of ill-fitting footwear or frequent use of high heels or as a consequence of arthritis. Children may also develop hammertoes by wearing shoes they have long since outgrown.
In young children and adolescents whose bones are still forming, hammertoes may be treated with splints. For adults with mild symptoms, stretching exercises may help if the toe is still flexible. But when hammertoe is severe and causes painful symptoms and difficulty walking or wearing shoes, surgery may be needed to relieve symptoms and help the toe resume a normal position. Several surgical techniques are available to treat hammertoes; Dr. Cooper will discuss the best options for you.
Many hammertoes can be prevented by wearing shoes that fit properly and have plenty of room in the toe area. Avoiding high heels and wearing soft insoles can help prevent toes from sliding forward into the toe area and becoming deformed. Dr. Cooper can discuss the use of straightening devices or splints and other techniques that can help straighten the toe to avoid the need for surgery.
Dr. Cooper accepts major insurancee plans including No Fault Insurance. For questions regarding your insurance provider, please contact Cooper Podiatry.