One of the most common conditions that many orthopedic surgeons work on is referred to as hammertoe. A hammertoe condition can be painful because it makes you more susceptible to calluses and corns. Hammertoe forms when a muscle in one of your toes becomes weaker and creates pressure on the joint in that toe. You'll notice an unusual bend in your toe in this case. The good news is that there are steps that you can take to treat hammertoe with the support of your orthopedist.
Choosing The Proper Shoes
Supportive, comfortable shoes are the first step toward managing hammertoe. You'll need shoes with plenty of room in the toe area so that you don't bunch or pinch the affected toe. Time your shoe shopping properly, aiming to find your new shoes in the afternoon because your feet will swell some through the course of the day. If you buy your shoes earlier in the morning, you may find that they get a little bit tight as the day wears on.
Further, don't be afraid to have your orthopedist measure your foot and recommend the right size and type of shoe to treat your condition. This ensures that you get the right shoe for your needs. Buying something that isn't properly supported or that's too tight expecting that it will break in can actually worsen the condition.
Managing The Inflammation
Hammertoe also causes inflammation in your affected toe. You'll want to manage that inflammation to help control your pain and discomfort. Talk with your orthopedist about an ice treatment regimen, anti-inflammatories, and potentially an injection of a corticosteroid to help treat the condition and manage the discomfort that comes with it.
Following The Exercise Plan
When your orthopedist diagnoses you with hammertoe, part of your treatment plan will include a series of exercises designed to stretch and strengthen the weakened muscle. You'll be provided with specific steps, including picking things up with your toes, rolling your foot and toes on a rolling bar, and more. Make sure that you keep up with the exercises your orthopedist recommends, and follow up with your surgeon if you find that the exercises aren't improving your condition.
In some cases, treatment alone isn't enough. You may find that you need to seek surgery. Your orthopedist can help you with evaluation to determine if you need surgery to resolve the condition. Whether your orthopedist opts for fusion or resection, the joint will be reconnected and secured with pins to correct the position of the toe.
If you are experiencing trouble with a hammertoe condition, reach out to a local orthopedic surgeon right away for more help.