If you experience a traumatic foot injury or develop arthritis, you’re also more likely to develop a hammertoe. When left untreated, a hammertoe can trigger other problems, including corns, calluses, and bunions. At Integrity Foot & Ankle Center, LLC, in Cumming, Georgia, board-certified podiatrist Patrick Qualtire, DPM, treats hammertoes in people of all ages. To schedule an appointment, call the office and speak with a friendly team member, or book a consultation online today.
A hammertoe is a common foot condition that causes one or more of your toes to bend into a curled or hammerhead-like position. It occurs due to an imbalance in the tendons, ligaments, and muscles responsible for holding your toe straight.
Sometimes, a hammertoe is present at birth. However, this condition usually develops due to an underlying condition like arthritis. A hammertoe is painful, but with prompt medical intervention, it’s also treatable.
The most obvious symptom of a hammertoe is pain and discomfort while walking. You might also experience difficulty moving or bending your affected toe. Other common signs of a hammertoe include:
As the condition progresses, you might also notice that your affected toe stays bent in a claw-like position.
To diagnose a hammertoe, Dr. Qualtire asks about your symptoms and lifestyle and reviews your medical history. Afterward, he carefully examines your feet and toes, looking for signs of redness, irritation, and warmth.
Usually, a visual exam is enough to diagnose a hammertoe. If Dr. Qualtire suspects you have an underlying bone, muscle, or ligament injury, he might also order X-rays to get a closer look at the bones and joints in your affected foot.
Dr. Qualtire uses a conservative, preventive approach for hammertoe treatment. If you have a mild hammertoe, he might recommend wearing comfortable, properly fitting shoes, taking over-the-counter pain medication, and wearing pads or cushions to protect your corns and calluses.
If you have a severe case of hammertoe, or your affected toe won’t move, surgical intervention may be necessary. During surgery for a hammertoe, Dr. Qualtire carefully removes the injured bone and carefully realigns your joints and tendons. The surgery is outpatient, so you can return home on the same day of your operation.
Don’t let a hammertoe prevent you from your favorite activities. Schedule an appointment at Integrity Foot & Ankle Center, LLC. Call the office to speak with a friendly staff member or book a consultation online today.