Generally speaking, conservative care is only really workable with hammertoes if the joint is still flexible—that is, you can move it with your fingers; it just won’t stay flat on its own.
Treatment options include:
- Taping/splinting. We may recommend these options to help hold your toe flat and minimize painful friction.
- Padding. Nonmedicated pads can also help reduce friction and avoid painful blisters and corns.
- Shoes. Make sure you wear shoes that provide ample space for the toes to move.
- Orthotics. If your hammertoes are caused by a biomechanical or structural imbalance, orthotics can help keep pressure away and prevent your hammertoes from getting worse.
- Physical therapy. Various exercises to help strengthen the toes and supporting muscles may also help prevent the existing muscle imbalance from worsening.
Surgery may be performed for either a flexible or rigid hammertoe. That said, we would typically only recommend it if you’ve already attempted conservative treatments for at least three months and are still experience pain or limited ability to enjoy your preferred lifestyle.
Even though surgery is considered more of a last resort, that doesn’t mean you should be afraid. As a matter of fact, hammertoe surgery has a very high overall rate of success. Although there will be some downtime after the procedure, we work hard to make sure you have all the information you need to make a complete, successful recovery.
The sooner you see us, though, the more treatment options we’ll be able to give you for your hammertoes—and the less likely you will need a surgical procedure in the near future. To schedule an appointment with the team at Precision Foot and Ankle, please call our office today at (727) 399-7167.
To prevent ingrown toenails, it is best to avoid trimming your toenails too short. Trim your toenails straight across instead of curving at the edges. Trying to cut out the ingrown edges can make the condition worse over time. If this is the first time you are experiencing an ingrown toenail, you may also try to soak your feet in lukewarm water with epsom salts. If you do not notice improvement in your symptoms within a couple of days, see your local podiatrist for further management before the condition becomes worse. In general, home treatment does little to fix the problem and can make the problem worse.
When To See Your Podiatrist
You should see your podiatrist if you continue to experience pain and redness or if your symptoms worsen. Your podiatrist will perform a minor procedure to remove the offending nail border and improve your pain. The procedure will likely be performed with local anesthesia to make you comfortable. They may also prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection if needed. Most people experience minimal pain after the procedure and can resume normal activity the next day.
7800 66th St N #207, Pinellas Park, FL 33781, USA