(860) 632-5499

Podiatrist - Cromwell
162 West St Ste K
Cromwell, CT 06416

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By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
April 17, 2019
Category: foot deformities
Tags: hammertoes   corns   calluses   orthotic  

Hammertoes get their name from the characteristic appearance they have been bent at the middle joint and causing the toe to look like a hammer. At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC, we often find that patients don’t know much more about this condition than what it looks like. Hammertoes, however, are a progressive condition and, for that reason, they need to be evaluated and treated as early as possible.

What’s the Cause?

Hammertoes can occur in the second, third, fourth or fifth toe. The most frequent cause of this condition is a muscle/tendon imbalance that occurs as the result of a biomechanical or neurological change in the foot. Other contributing factors to hammertoes are:

  • Genetics—a predisposition to hammertoe can be inherited
  • Trauma
  • Tight shoes that force the toe to remain in a cramped position for long periods of time

Diagnosis

Although the appearance of a hammertoe may seem obvious, our podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas will examine your toe and get a complete medical history. The foot doctor may also order digital x-rays (which can be done right in our Cromwell office) to assess the severity of the deformity and also as a baseline for future monitoring of the toe.

Treatment Options

Initially, hammertoes will be flexible but, as time goes on, they can become rigidly bent and unable to straighten out. This can lead to secondary problems such as corns and calluses forming on the top of the toe from the pressure and friction created between the bent toe and footwear. There are several conservative treatment methods available, including:

  • Modifying footwear—choosing shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes and avoiding pointy styles or shoes with high heels can help relieve pain and pressure on a hammertoe.
  • Exercises and physical therapy—to stretch the toe and strengthen surrounding muscles.
  • Splinting or strap—to help straighten and realign the toe.
  • Custom orthotic device—these are used in your shoes to help properly position the foot and help correct any underlying biomechanical causes of hammertoe.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct a hammertoe.

If you suspect you have a hammertoe, contact our Middlesex County office today for an appointment by calling: (860) 632-5499.

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162 West St Ste K
Cromwell, CT 06416