Hammertoe is a common foot deformity that can cause permanent damage to the structure of your foot. At Family Foot Care in Berkeley Heights and Hackettstown, New Jersey, Gary Quartello, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist, offers a number of safe and effective treatments for hammertoe. Dr. Quartello has over 30 years of experience helping patients restore and maintain their foot health. To schedule your visit, call or book online today.
Hammertoe is a type of deformity that causes your toe to bend at the middle joint. The most obvious sign of hammertoe is abnormal contracture of the toe that may be painful or difficult to move. Hammertoe can also cause redness, irritation, and inflammation.
As the toes rub against each other and the sides of your shoe, you may develop corns and calluses. In some cases, the irritation caused by hammertoe can cause open sores.
Most people get hammertoe as a result of an imbalance to the muscles and tendons in their foot. Your foot structure and footwear can both contribute to the development of hammertoe.
Wearing tight-fitting shoes or leaving the toes in a cramped position can aggravate and contribute to hammertoe. Traumatic injuries to the foot can also result in a hammertoe.
Hammertoe is fairly easy to identify. During your appointment at Family Foot Care, Dr. Quartello performs a physical examination, checking for any abnormal bending of your toes. He may also perform an X-ray to evaluate the condition of the bones and joints in your toes.
After your diagnosis, you and Dr. Quartello discuss the most effective treatment plan. Hammertoe is a progressive condition that continues to worsen without effective treatment.
Treatment depends on the severity of your deformity. During the early stages of hammertoe, the affected toe remains flexible. As the condition progresses, the toe becomes more stiff and difficult to move.
If your condition is in the early stages, Dr. Quartello may recommend conservative treatments like:
If your condition doesn’t respond to conservative care, you may need surgery. Dr. Quartello has extensive experience treating common foot deformities like hammertoe and works with you to find the right solution for your condition.
Although preventing a hammertoe isn’t always possible, there are steps you can take to lower your risks.
When it comes to preventing problems with your feet and ankles, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of proper footwear. Wearing shoes that fit and have adequate toe room can go a long way in maintaining your foot health. You should also avoid high heels and opt for shoes that are adjustable with laces or straps.
Untreated hammertoe can cause your toe to become permanently bent. To speak with Dr. Quartello at Family Foot Care about your condition, book an appointment by phone or online today.