Hammertoe begins as a mild bend in your toe that may not cause other symptoms. Even though it seems like a small problem, this is the time when you should see Dr. Scott O’Connor at Premier Podiatry because he can treat the problem and prevent it from worsening to the point of needing surgery. With offices in Normal, Pontiac, and Bloomington, Illinois, Dr. O’Connor provides customized care for each patient, developing a plan to relieve your pain, straighten the toe, and restore movement. To learn more, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
A hammertoe is a type of deformity that affects your second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes. It occurs when the toe is abnormally bent, so the tip of the toe bends downward rather than pointing forward.
This foot deformity is caused by an imbalance in the muscles and tendons that bend and straighten your toe. It begins when the toe is forced into a bent position and stays that way long enough that the muscle tightens. Without treatment, the opposing tendon eventually won’t be able to straighten the toe.
Although you can inherit a tendency to develop hammertoe, the condition usually develops due to:
Trauma doesn’t cause hammertoe, but an injury like a broken toe may increase your risk of developing hammertoe.
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if you have hammertoe:
Hammertoe doesn’t improve without treatment and only worsens over time. When hammertoe first develops, your toe is still flexible. At this early stage, Dr. O’Connor can treat the toe with conservative therapies such as:
If you don’t get treatment and your hammertoe progresses, the toe becomes rigid, and the muscle stays permanently shortened, firmly holding the toe in a bent position. At this stage, Dr. O’Connor must perform surgery to fix the hammertoe and relieve your pain.
Dr. O’Connor, a foot surgery specialist, chooses from several surgical techniques depending on your condition. He may straighten your toe by performing a bone fusion or a joint resection, to name two of the possible procedures.
To get compassionate care for your hammertoe, call the nearest Premier Podiatry office in Eureka, Normal, or Pontiac, Illinois or book an appointment online today.