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Conditions

Foot Conditions

Hammertoe:

Hammertoe is a condition in which one or both joints of the little toes become bent over time. A hammertoe can result from an imbalance of muscles and tendons. This uncharacteristic bend brings about developmental problems as shoes put pressure put on the toes. Hammertoe can also be inherited, or result from earlier trauma to the toe. Generally, hammertoe worsens over time and becomes more rigid. This can lead to the formation of a corn. Symptoms commonly associated with hammertoe include pain and irritation while wearing shoes, the formation of corns and calluses on the toe, inflammation of the toes, and in severe cases, the occurrence of open sores.

Hammertoes typically begin as mild deformities and worsen over time. At first, toes may be flexible and symptoms can sometimes be controlled and fixed without surgery. Various medications exist that can ease the pain and an injection may help in relieving the symptoms. However, these methods may not cure the actual problem.

If left untreated, surgery becomes the only way to correct them. For example, surgery may be necessary if the hammertoe becomes rigid and pain becomes chronic. According to 2003 data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 300,000 hammertoe surgeries are performed annually in the U.S. Therefore, the earlier the condition is treated, the better. It should be emphasized that hammertoes will not get better without intervention. While there are many procedures for alleviating the pain, it is essential to pay attention to the causes of hammertoe to ensure a beneficial procedure. Your surgeon needs to determine the cause of your condition to design an ideal solution. His goal is to have patients back on their feet and resuming their regular activities in the shortest time possible.

Appropriate procedures range from the simple to the complex. A procedure for resolving hammertoe can be as straightforward as releasing the tendon. In this procedure, a small incision is made at or near the tendon, which reduces the deformity. Recovery is rapid and the patient experiences minimal discomfort. Other treatment method which may be more aggressive might be chosen by your surgeon.