How to Treat Hammer Toe
Hammer toe is one of the most common foot deformities in the country, with over 60 million Americans diagnosed every year. Doctors approach treatment from many angles, often considering surgery after first exploring conservative treatment paths.
At Warner Orthopedics & Wellness, Dr. Meredith Warner utilizes safe and reliable treatment methods, avoiding popular surgical techniques that typically produce discomfort in the toe following surgery. Below we’ll walk you through the basics of Hammer toe and describe the technology Dr. Warner uses during surgery.
What is Hammer Toe?
Hammer toe is an injury of the foot that causes your toe to curl downward instead of pointing forward. This deformity can affect any toe on your feet, however, the second and third toe are the most commonly affected. Hammer toes are sometimes present at birth, but most people develop the condition after wearing ill-fitting shoes for an extended period. For most people, hammer toe is treatable and manageable.
Causes of Hammer Toe
Common causes of hammer toe include:
- a traumatic toe injury
- as a complication of arthritis
- high arches
- wearing ill-fitting shoes
- tight, stressed ligaments or tendons
- pressure from a bunion, which is when your big toe points inward toward your second toe
You can heal hammer toe caused by bad footwear by wearing shoes that fit your feet appropriately. If a high arch caused the condition, your doctor might recommend wearing toe pads or insoles in your shoes. These pads shift your toe’s position, which relieves pain and corrects alignment.
Many individuals buy cushions, pads, or medications to treat hammertoe at the store. If these treatments are painful or cause your toes to become distorted, your doctor may opt for an alternative treatment. Gently stretching your toes can also help relieve pain and reposition the affected toe.
If you can no longer move your toe, surgery may be the only option to restore movement.
At Warner Orthopedics, Dr. Warner uses IP arthroplasty to correct Hammer Toe and straighten the joint. The procedure is one of the most effective, reliable, and accurate methods to improve the condition. During the surgery, a small piece of bone is removed to shorten the toe, allowing the joint to extend into its normal position. In many cases, medical professionals will insert K-Wires into the toe during the procedure, which can cause extreme discomfort over time. Dr. Warner’s method calls for the insertion of a small implant to provide stability and flexibility in the affected toe, while also preventing unnecessary pain.
IP arthroplasty is a one-day procedure, allowing the patient to return home once the surgery is over. Most people can begin walking on their foot again a week after surgery.
Contact Warner Orthopedics & Wellness today for more information about Hammer toe treatments and to begin your path to recovery!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HAMMER TOE TREATMENTS AND IP ARTHROPLASTY, CONTACT WARNER ORTHOPEDICS & WELLNESS TODAY!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Meredith Warner is a board certified, Fellowship Trained Foot and Ankle, Orthopedic surgeon practicing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Warner is committed to offering her patients an accurate diagnosis along with a comprehensive treatment plan in order to get them back to a pain free life. Dr. Meredith Warner specializes in the treatment of orthopedic issues, providing operative and non-operative treatment plans of orthopedic problems, including musculoskeletal pain such as chronic back, neck and foot pain, reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, arthritis, diabetic, hammer toe, bunion, wound care, work injuries, fitness and nutrition and osteoporosis issues.