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Q&A About Hammertoes

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Keeping up with the latest fashions can sometimes be more damaging to your physical health than your pocketbook. As more women wear high heels, more are noticing foot problems. One of the most common conditions that result from wearing high heels is hammertoe. 

What Is Hammertoe?

Hammertoe is a foot condition that results from your toes being forced to the front of your shoes. This results in the foot bending unnaturally. The abnormal bend often occurs in the middle joint of one of your toes. The unnatural bend is known as hammertoe. 

Hammertoe is also characterized by pain in the impacted toe, corns, and inflammation. Open sores can even start to form if you have am ore severe form of the condition. Hammertoe is not a condition that just goes away. It is a progressive condition that requires immediate action to alleviate the symptoms. 

How Is Hammertoe Treated?

Your podiatrist will most likely start with a non-invasive method of treating your condition. Non-invasive treatment can include recommending that you switch to a different style of shoe and the use of orthotic devices. A custom orthotic device will be placed inside of your shoe and used to control any imbalance that has resulted from the condition.

Common painkillers can also be used to help control inflammation and mild pain. Your podiatrist can also use a splint to try and realign the toe that is bent. It is important that you follow the doctor's orders to prevent the disease from progressing quickly. 

What Happens When It Progresses?

If your hammertoe progresses to the appearance of an open sore or the mobility of your foot is affected, the podiatrist can opt for surgery to correct the condition. If you have other conditions that are co-occurring with the hammertoe, the podiatrist might also perform additional corrective surgery for those, too. 

Surgery is not recommended for some people. People who have poor circulation, are prone to infection, and who have other serious illnesses are usually not qualified for surgery. 

How Do You Prevent Hammertoe?

The most obvious method of preventing hammertoe is to limit wearing high heels. If you do wear high heels, remember that the higher the heel, the more elevated the foot becomes. A more elevated foot pushes your toes into a cramped position even more. 

If you are concerned about your foot health while wearing heels, talk to local clinics such as East Village Foot Center PC about additional things you can do to limit the possibility of developing hammertoe. If you already have it, it is important you seek treatment immediately.