Hammertoes Treatment

You should see a doctor if you have a hammertoe. Here are some things you can do in the meantime. None of these things will cure the hammertoe, but they may relieve the pain and discomfort. The treatment options are based on how severe the problem has become. The sooner a person seeks treatment, the more options that person may have.

Conservative treatment starts with new shoes that have soft, roomy toe boxes. Shoes should be one-half inch longer than your longest toe. Keep in mind that this could be either your big toe or your second toe. Avoid wearing tight, narrow, high-heeled shoes. Don't wear heels higher than 2 inches. Wear the appropriate shoe for the activity you are doing. You can buy non-medicated hammertoe pads. They fit around the pointy top of the toe joint and help relieve painful pressure. Gently massaging the toe may help relieve pain. Put ice packs on the hammertoe to reduce painful swelling.

Drugs that reduce inflammation can ease the pain and swelling. Sometimes a doctor will use cortisone injections to relieve acute pain. A podiatrist may also custom-make an insert to wear inside your shoe. This can reduce pain and keep the hammertoe from getting worse. The doctor may recommend foot exercises to help restore muscle balance. Splinting the toe may help in the very early stages

Hammertoe can be corrected by surgery if conservative measures fail. There are several surgical techniques used to treat hammertoes. Often these can be done in the doctor's office without the need for hospitalization.

When the problem is less severe, the doctor will remove a small piece of bone at the involved joint and realign the toe joint. More severe hammertoes may mean more complicated surgery.

Toe splints and shoe stretchers are great ways to release pressure for toe pain
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