Hammertoes plague people of all ages and walks of life. Typically recognized by your Casa Grande, AZ podiatrist as an upward deformity of the middle toe joint, but sometimes of the first joint nearest the toe nail, hammertoes cause people discomfort and embarrassment. The podiatrists of the Foot and Ankle Center diagnose and treats this common foot problem in their Casa Grande office.
Causes of Hammertoes
As with so many medical problems, heredity plays a part in the development of hammertoes, bunions and other foot and ankle deformities. Simple foot structure issues such as high arches, flat feet and tight or lax calf muscles contribute to hammertoe formation.
In addition, a bunion, a boney protuberance on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe, often co-exists with hammertoes. A bunion turns the big toe inward, sometimes crossing it over the second and even third toe. The extra pressure causes the first or middle joint of the second or third toe to change in shape, resulting in a hammertoe.
Diabetics and arthritics are prone to hammertoes as are women in general because of narrow-toed shoes and high heels that put additional stress on the front of the foot and the toes. Corns and calluses frequently form on the first or second joint of hammertoes, says the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.
Treatment of Hammertoes
Hammertoe repairs range from minimally-invasive treatments to surgery on the affected foot. One of the best interventions is a change in shoes. Wider, higher toe boxes relieve pressure on the toes. In-shoe padding of the affected area helps, too, as do custom-made orthotics, or shoe inserts. Specialized hammertoe splints support the painful toe, pad it and help it take a straighter position.
Your Casa Grande podiatrist diagnoses hammertoes with simple visual inspection and x-rays. He may also check a patient's gait and look at the range of motion in the foot and ankle.
Call about Foot Pain
Drs. Myskiw and Clement help scores of patients with hammertoes. If you are in pain, or simply are tired of how your feet look, contact your Casa Grande, CA podiatrist. Get your feet, ankles and legs feeling good and functioning best for your daily activities. Call (520) 836-2962 for an appointment at the Foot and Ankle Center.
Find out the best treatment options for reducing bunion pain and discomfort.
It can be a challenge figuring out the ideal ways to reduce your bunion-related symptoms. If you are stumped, turn to your Casa Grande, AZ podiatrists Dr. Peter Myskiw and Dr. Dean Clement to find out the most common treatment options to help relieve your pain.
The first line of defense against treating any foot condition is to always start small and to progress to more aggressive treatments if the need calls for it. After all, who wants to go through longer or more intense treatments when simple at-home measures can do the trick? Here are some treatment options that your foot doctors in Casa Grande may recommend when you come in for care:
Not all medications need to be prescription strength in order to do the trick. Many patients find the relief they need with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen, which can target both pain and inflammation.
Whether you just don’t like the idea of taking medications or you are looking for another remedy to ease pain and swelling, applying ice to your bunion can also help with your symptoms. Of course, you never want to apply ice directly to the skin, which can cause severe burns. Always wrap an ice pack in a towel before applying to the bunion. You can ice the area for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time several times a day.
To reduce stiffness in the affected toe joint, you may want to consider performing a series of stretching exercises each day to improve the mobility of your joint. Talk to us about the best exercises you can perform to correct your foot’s form and function despite bunions.
Footwear and Orthotics
It may not seem important but the shoes you wear can certainly exacerbate any foot problems you have, including bunions. Throw away any shoes that don’t offer your feet enough support, that rub or irritate the bunion, or are too tight. Also, steer clear of high heels, which can put too much pressure on the sides of your feet.
Also, depending on your foot’s structure and the severity of your condition we may advise you to wear custom-made orthotics to help fix any biomechanical issues you may have that may be making your bunion symptoms worse.
If trying these at-home measures for a few weeks doesn’t provide you with the pain relief you thought it would then it’s time to talk to us about other options. Sometimes cortisone injections can be administered to alleviate pain around the base of the big toe. Those with severe bunions that cause chronic, debilitating pain may need to consider surgery.
We are here to answer all of your foot health questions. Schedule an appointment today with Foot and Ankle Center in Casa Grande, AZ.
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