Hammertoe is a common medical condition that affects one or more toes. It is characterized by a bent middle joint and usually results in pain, inflammation, and corns or callouses. There are numerous causes, as well as treatment options. Read on to learn how you can prevent and treat hammertoe:
Three common causes of hammertoe are arthritis, wearing improperly fitting shoes, and an injury to the toe. While some of the causes can be avoided (too tight shoes), others may not be totally avoidable (arthritis).
It's important that those with an increased risk of acquiring hammertoe do all they can to prevent it, as not only do they cause pain and discomfort, but they can also lead to surgery and other, more serious foot conditions. The most effective prevention method includes wearing the proper footwear. Footwear that forces your toes to bend are not a good fit and should never be worn—buy shoes that fit, not ones that you need to stretch out.
When to Seek Medical Attention
The earlier a hammertoe is dealt with, the better. If you notice a toe or toes that are bent in the middle, you're most likely dealing with a hammertoe. Other symptoms include corns or callouses on a toe's middle joint and a toe with a difficult to bend joint.
While it's vital that you receive proper medical attention, there are some things you can do to reduce pain and discomfort while waiting for an appointment. To reduce the odds of tendons in the toes becoming too tight, it's recommended that you gently bend the toe with your fingers. Do not do so to the point of pain—just enough that you begin to stretch the tendons and keep them from becoming too rigid. You can also use medical tape to keep the toe as straight as possible. Wrap the tape around one or two surrounding toes that are already straight and then join it with the toe that is bent.
The method your doctor employs will depend on the severity of the toe's condition. For mild cases, a splint may be all that is required for the hammertoe to straighten on its own. Other treatments available for a mild hammertoe include cortisone shots in the affected toe, as well as anti-inflammatory medications if the cause is due to inflammation.
More severe cases require a bit more intervention. In some cases, a small piece of bone may be removed to release the toe from the bent position. There are more complicated surgeries, such as those dealing with tendon release and complete joint realignment.
It's important to make an appointment with a podiatrist at the first signs of a hammertoe. Failure to treat can lead to chronic pain, as well as chronic inflammation that can cause problems with walking and weight-bearing. Your doctor can help you to control the pain, treat the issue, and prevent it from worsening or reoccurring. To learn more, contact a company like http://www.footfirstpodiatrycl.com with any questions or concerns you have.Share
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