Hammertoe Treatments – Avalon Podiatry


Avalon Podiatry Specializes in Non-Surgical Treatment Relief for Hammertoe!

Initially, a hammertoe may remain flexible and lie flat when not in crowded footwear, but eventually the tendons of the toe can tighten, causing the toe to become stiff permanently. Once this occurs, rubbing of a shoe against the raised part of the toe leads to painful corns or calluses.

What Causes Hammertoes?

Hammertoe is caused by a muscle and ligament imbalance around the toe joint. Unnatural curling of a toe, usually the baby toe, is also considered hammertoe.

Toe muscles work in pairs. When they get out of balance, the imbalance creates excessive pressure on the tendons and joints of the toe. This pressure forces the toe to remain unnaturally bent.
Toe muscle imbalance is usually caused by shoes that do not fit well. Shoes that are too tight, too short, or too pointy push the toe muscles out of balance. Pointy, high-heeled shoes in particular put severely excessive pressure on the toes. Toe muscle imbalance can also be caused by arthritis, injury to the toe, or by an inherited structural defect like flat feet or high arches.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Hammertoe

There are several treatment options that vary according to how severe the hammertoe:

  • Wear good-fitting shoes; this does not necessarily mean expensive shoes.  Padding any prominent areas around the bony point of the toe may help to relieve pain.
  • Sometimes, Dr. Boghossian will use cortisone injections to relieve acute pain.
  • Dr. Boghossian may also custom-make an insert to wear inside your shoe.  This can reduce pain and keep the hammertoe from getting worse.
  • Over-the-counter metatarsal pads that are properly placed may help.
  • Dr. Boghossian may recommend foot exercises to help restore muscle balance.  Splinting the toe may help in the very early stages.

** Severe hammertoes may mean the patient requires a surgical treatment. **

What Happens After Hammertoe Surgery?

  • You may be given a special shoe to wear after surgery to help with walking.  Recovery normally can take a few weeks depending on the type of surgery that was done.
  • You will be asked to keep your foot elevated at the level of your heart for the first few weeks after surgery, which requires lying on a couch or bed with your foot up.  You may also need either crutches or a walker after surgery depending on your ability to walk.
  • Stitches are usually taken out two to three weeks after surgery, and if pins were placed, these will be taken out within a few weeks. You may not put your foot under water until the stitches and pins are removed.
  • If the hammertoe is on your right foot, you may not be able to drive a car for a number of weeks depending on the type of surgery you have.
  • Dr. Boghossian may ask you to do exercises to stretch and move the toe at home after surgery.  This can help with flexibility of the toe and to maintain motion in the toe.
  • It is normal to have swelling after surgery. It may take up to one year before the swelling resolves.
“Dr. Boghossian is a down to earth human being who treats all his patients with great respect. He’s not only a great person, but also an excellent doctor and surgeon.”
Richard H

Avalon Podiatry works with Double Board Certified Podiatrists in the Greater Los Angeles area. They are committed to patient care and wellness which gives you the security of partnering up with a specialist who will guide you through a journey to overall foot and ankle health from your consultation till after your treatment.

Schedule Your Appointment: 818-206-8601

Hammertoe Treatments – Avalon Podiatry November 20, 2015

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