Posts for tag: hammertoes
A hammertoe is a common foot deformity that affects the middle joint of the smaller toes. As a result, this causes the toes to bend downward. Since this bend causes the joint to stick out this can put more pressure on the affected joints when wearing shoes, which can also make the deformity worse over time. As with most foot deformities a hammertoe will start out minor and continue to progress over time if left untreated.
During the earlier stages you may not notice much pain and discomfort. In fact the only way you may be able to tell that you have a hammertoe is by examining the foot and noticing that the small toes bend downward like a claw. Of course, at this stage the deformed joint is still flexible enough to be straightened out.
However, if the deformity progresses this can cause the joint to become rigid, which won’t respond effectively to simple conservative treatments. As you might imagine, the sooner you see a podiatrist to treat your hammertoe the better. Early intervention is key, as a hammertoe will not get better without the proper care.
Hammertoes are often the result of an imbalance in the muscle or tendon of the foot. Over time, this leads to structural changes in the foot. Genetics may also play a role in whether your feet are at risk for this deformity. A hammertoe can also be made worse by wearing shoes that are too tight and put too much pressure on the toes.
Along with the structural changes that occur with hammertoes it’s also common to experience redness, inflammation or the development of a corn or callus on the toe. If you are noticing symptoms of a hammertoe see your podiatrist for an evaluation. A simple physical exam is usually all that’s needed to diagnose a hammertoe; however, sometimes an x-ray will be performed in order to determine the extent of the deformity.
If you are dealing with a flexible hammertoe, more often than not simple nonsurgical treatment options are all that’s needed. Following simple treatment options and care can prevent the hammertoes from becoming rigid or painful. Some nonsurgical treatment options include:
- Wearing the appropriate footwear. This means wearing shoes that aren’t pointy or have high heels, which can put more pressure on the toes.
- Placing custom orthotics into your shoes, which can ease discomfort and prevent pain resulting in a muscular imbalance.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce both pain and inflammation.
- Splinting the toe or toes to keep them straight, which can also reduce stiffness, inflammation and pain.
- Applying protective non-medicated padding over the top of the toe to prevent a corn or callus from developing.
If your hammertoe is painful or rigid then you may need to discuss whether surgery is the best option for alleviating your symptom and correcting the deformity. If you are dealing with a hammertoe turn to a foot specialist for help.
Metatarsal syndrome is a common ailment that causes the ball of the foot to become swollen and painful. Since the ball of your foot absorbs much of the stress and pressure when you are walking and playing sports, injury to the metatarsal bones, tendons, and tissues of the three middle toes can be very debilitating and requires proper treatment from your foot doctor.
Swelling in the ball of the foot can be caused by the following:
- Improper shoes. Shoes like high heels that scrunch your toes together can be a source of pain in the metatarsal area.
- Being too heavy. Carrying excess pounds puts additional stress on the ball of the foot.
- Foot neuroma. Characterized by fibrous tissue that most grows between the third and fourth metatarsal bones, causing pain and discomfort in the ball of the foot.
- Stress (or hairline) fractures in the toe bones may contribute to symptoms.
- Heredity. Some inherited foot shapes, such as having a high arch, or a second toe that is longer than the big toe can shift weight onto the ball of the foot.
- Training and playing hard. Playing high impact sports such as tennis and basketball can cause injury to the ball of the foot and metatarsal bones.
- Radiating issues from other foot problems like hammertoes and bunions often adversely affect the metatarsals and can cause pain in the ball of the foot.
- Arthritis can also contribute to pain in the ball of the foot.
If you are experiencing pain and swelling in the ball of your foot, enlisting the services of a skilled podiatrist will help you find the best solution. Schedule an appointment with Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly qualified podiatrist, Dr. Zahid Ladha, D.P.M., is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!
The condition known as the hammertoe deformity is so named due to the bending that happens to one or more of your middle toe joints that causes the toes to take on the shape of a hammer. When the bend occurs at the end to joint, the result is a mallet toe.
Hammertoes are largely caused by a genetic imbalance between the tiny tendons and small muscles that normally hold the toe in the proper position but it can be exacerbated by tightly fitting footwear like high-heeled shoes.
Since hammertoes have a tendency to worsen over time, see your foot doctor when you first notice the problem for the easiest and least painful treatment.
5 of the more conservative treatments for hammertoes include the following:
- The right shoes—Properly fitted shoes with a wide toe box will eliminate the pressure that is contributing to the bending of the toes and will also provide room for pads and inserts.
- Custom orthotic inserts—Your foot doctor can create custom shoe inserts to help control the imbalance between the toe muscle and tendon that is causing the toe to bend in the shape of a hammer.
- Pain relief medications—Anti-inflammatory medications including Tylenol and ibuprofen can be taken in moderation to reduce pain and swelling.
- Physical therapy exercises— A great way to increase the strength and flexibility of your toes is with a variety of physical therapy exercises. Consult with your foot doctor for a comprehensive routine.
- Insulating pads—Pads for corns can be placed on the top of hammertoes to help insulate the toes from rubbing on the inside of your shoes.
Hammertoes that are more advanced and that have become rigid and painful will probably require surgery to straighten them out.
If you are experiencing complications with hammertoes, enlisting the services of a skilled podiatrist will help you find the best solution. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!
It’s easy to neglect your feet until you have a serious foot or ankle problem, and many people do just that, to the detriment of their overall foot and ankle health. With all the walking, running, dancing, and standing that the average pair of feet perform throughout life, taking the time to optimize your foot health will help prevent future chronic foot and ankle conditions.
These 4 excellent tips will help keep your feet happy and healthy throughout your life:
- Wash your feet every day—Clean your feet at least once daily with warm soap and water and dry them completely, especially between the toes where moisture collects.
- Perform regular foot exams— Look for cuts and cracks and treat them promptly with antibiotic ointment and sterile band-aids if needed. Check toenails for signs of yellowing and brittleness which could indicate a fungal toenail infection. Always have any foot deformities like bunions and hammertoes inspected by your foot doctor. Early treatment of foot deformities will lessen their eventual severity.
- Trim your toenails correctly—Always pay attention to cut your toenails as straight across as possible, with only a slight curve. This is the easiest and most effective way to prevent ingrown toenails.
- Wear properly fitted shoes—Wear shoes that are properly fitted and with the correct arch supports and other orthotic inserts. A computerized gait analysis can be performed by your foot doctor to check for under or overpronation issues.
Keep your feet happy and healthy with regular visits to your foot doctor. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly-qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!
A high arch condition called pes cavus is characterized by inflexible arches that can cause serious problems as you get older if left untreated. With this condition, the arch retains most of its curved shape even when weight is applied. This prevents the arch from efficiently absorbing pressure and from transferring weight from the forefoot to the heel.
Rigid high arches may not be a problem at first, but foot deformities like hammertoes and skin conditions like calluses will become more likely as time passes. Foot and ankle instability from high arches also results in a higher risk for ankle sprains and strains.
Some of the more conservative treatments for high arches include the following:
- Supportive shoes—Footwear with a wide heel base and room for ankle supports and shoe inserts is essential for proper healing to occur.
- Orthotic shoe inserts—Your foot doctor can create specially designed arch supports that fit the shape of your foot and provide a sufficient amount of cushioning and stabilization. Pads and other inserts can help isolate and treat foot abnormalities like hammertoes and bunions.
- Foot braces—Foot braces can help provide the proper support and stabilization to treat a high arch.
Proper treatment of high arches requires a complete exam and analysis by your foot care professional and in serious cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.
If you are experiencing complications with high arches, see your podiatrist to find the best solution. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our expert podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!