Hammertoe is a painful condition in which the middle joint of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toe is abnormally bent, causing pain and deformity. The condition is often caused by an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that are meant to hold the toe straight.
Hammertoe is a progressively worsening condition. In the early stages of hammertoe, pain may be managed by wearing appropriate footwear. However, if the condition is left untreated you may need surgery to correct the deformity and eliminate the pain.
What Caused Your Hammertoe?
Foot structure has a lot to do with hammertoe development — an overly high or low arch is the primary cause. Another indication of probable hammertoe is if your second toe is longer than your big toe. Foot trauma or injury, such as a toe jam or break, will increase the likelihood of that particular digit bending.
There are some risk factors that make you more prone to developing hammertoe. Women have higher risk factors than men, and the tendency also increases with age. Rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are two diseases with a genetic predisposition for hammertoe.
What Type of Surgery Do I Need?
Hammertoe is a progressive deformity. In the beginning, you may be able to manage the pain by wearing the right type of shoe, padding corns and calluses, and taking anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen. Hammertoe will eventually cause the toe to lose its flexibility and become permanently bent.
Your doctor may recommend surgery to correct the deformity if there is no underlying condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis. There are four main types of surgery for hammertoe:
In-Office Procedures mean Fast Recovery
Most operations to correct a hammertoe are performed as outpatient procedures, meaning you will be able to go home right after surgery is completed. The majority of patients have only a local anesthetic which only numbs the toe and allows the patient to remain awake during the procedure.
With a local anesthetic, you will not feel pain, but you may feel some pressure or pulling. Local anesthetics will shorten your recovery time and do not bear the same risks as general anesthesia.
Dr. Elizabeth E. Auger know just how excruciating foot pain can be, which is why she offers same-day appointments and always welcomes new patients because she doesn’t want you to wait! Dr. Auger is committed to getting you to a place where you can experience a life without discomfort!