Quick Facts on Foot and Ankle Care in Our Podiatry FAQ
How can you tell if there is a bone spur in your heel? When should patients consider surgery for torn ligaments? Our FAQ page explores a variety of foot and ankle questions to help patients get the care they need. Search through our FAQ to get answers on your condition.
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Could my shoes be causing hammertoes?
There is a strong link between footwear choice and the development of hammertoes. Extremely tight shoes that cram toes into narrow or pointed spaces are a major culprit, as are high heels that push all of your weight forward onto the front portion of your feet. When toes remain bent in the same position for extended periods of time, and especially if they have to bear excess pressure and weight in that position, the muscle pairs responsible for bending and straightening the toe may become unbalanced, leaving the toe unable to lie flat even when barefoot.
There’s some disagreement in the medical community whether shoes can cause hammertoes all by themselves, or whether there needs to be at least one other underlying factor. However, it’s abundantly clear that wearing ill-fitting shoes can rapidly accelerate the development of hammertoes regardless of initial cause.
If you seek treatment for hammertoes early, you may be able to avoid surgery. If your toes are looking a little bent, please call Massapequa Podiatry Associates at 516-541-9000 today.
Do I need surgery to correct my hammertoes?
In most cases, yes, you will need a surgical procedure to correct a hammertoe, in the sense of permanently resetting a bent digit in its correct alignment. Once digits start to bend, you can’t really coax them back to stay in their original place any other way.
However, surgery is not always necessary to treat a hammertoe. In the earliest stages where the deformity in less severe and the joint is still flexible and posable, conservative treatments may provide the necessary pain relief to get you through your activities without limitation or discomfort, as well as slow or halt further progression of the hammertoe. Such measures may include changing shoes or shoe modifications, medications, padding, taping, splinting, physical therapy, or custom orthotics.
A thorough evaluation at Massapequa Podiatry Associates will help determine which treatment methods would be recommended in your situation. The earlier you seek treatment, the greater the number of options available to you. To make an appointment, please call 516-541-9000.