Prime Foot and Ankle Care, LLC
Paul Georges, DPM
Podiatrist located in Chelmsford, MA & Gardner, MA
Hammertoes are painful can be a source of embarrassment due to the nature of the deformity. Dr. Paul Georges at Prime Foot and Ankle Care offers a variety of treatment options for patients who are suffering from hammer toes. He will evaluate your condition and create a treatment plan that’s right for you. Dr. Georges serves the greater Lowell, Massachusetts area, including Chelmsford, Dracut, Tewksbury, Westford, Billerica, and Tyngsboro.
Hammer Toes Q & A
What are hammertoes?
Hammertoe is an imbalance within the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint of the big toe, but an abnormally bent joint also characterizes it. As a result, the toe suffers a significant amount of rubbing and friction, which irritates the skin.
Hammertoes are common in both the little toe and the one next to it. The condition can occur in any toe that naturally curves. High heels, or any shoe that is pointed or tends to restrict the toes, can cause this type of condition. It occurs in women more often than men, simply because of the kinds of shoes they wear. If you have diabetes or have problems with your circulation, you have a higher risk of being diagnosed with hammertoes.
Dr. Georges can diagnose either type of hammertoe:
Rigid: The toe won't move because it's no longer in the right position.
Flexible: The joint is still flexible at the joints.
What causes hammertoes?
The human body relies on balance to thrive. Many of the organs come in pairs, much like the muscles. The muscles of the toes also come in pairs. If either of the muscles is out of balance, or stronger than the other, it can result in a hammertoe. Hammertoes cause pressure to build on the joint and forces the bones of the toe out of their normal position causing it to look like a miniature hammer.
A variety of things can cause an imbalance in the muscles. The most common causes include:
- Shoes that fit poorly
- Damage or injury to the toe
- A family history of hammertoes and other foot conditions
What are common signs of a hammertoe?
The signs or symptoms of a hammertoe are as follows:
- Calluses or corns that develop on the joint
- Toes that are no longer flexible and rigid at the joints
- Redness and inflammation
- Difficult to wear shoes
- Tenderness to the touch underneath the affected toe and at the ball of the foot
- Any movement of the toe causes discomfort
What treatments are used for hammertoes?
Dr. Georges offers treatment options for hammertoes that can relieve your pain and discomfort. With the use of orthotics, various types of padding, and shoes that are custom-fitted to your feet will take the pressure off of the toe joint and help it return to its natural position.
In cases where the hammertoe is severe, Dr. Georges may recommend surgery. However, he only recommends surgery after all other avenues of treatment have failed.
Please see the list of plans that we accept. If you do not see yours, please call our office to find out how we can help.