How Do You Fix Hammer Toes

How Do You Fix Hammer Toes?

Hammer toes, also known as claw toes, are a common foot deformity that can cause discomfort and pain. This condition occurs when the middle joint of the toe becomes bent or curled, resembling a hammer or claw. The affected toes may rub against shoes, causing corns, calluses, and even open sores. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to fix hammer toes and relieve the associated symptoms.

Non-surgical Treatment Options:

1. Footwear adjustments: Wearing shoes with a wider toe box and lower heels can help alleviate pressure on the affected toes. Avoiding tight or narrow shoes is crucial to prevent worsening of the condition.

2. Toe exercises: Strengthening and stretching exercises for the toes can help to improve flexibility and reduce pain. Simple exercises like picking up marbles or using toe separators can be beneficial.

3. Orthotics: Custom-made shoe inserts, called orthotics, can provide support and help realign the toes, relieving pain and discomfort.

4. Padding and taping: Placing pads or corn cushions on the affected areas can reduce friction and alleviate pain. Taping the toes in a straightened position can also provide temporary relief.

Surgical Treatment Options:

5. Arthroplasty: This surgical procedure involves removing a small section of bone from the affected toe joint to straighten it.

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6. Arthrodesis: In this procedure, the surgeon fuses the affected joint to reduce pain and improve stability.

7. Tendon transfer: This surgical technique involves transferring tendons from the bottom of the toe to the top, helping to straighten the affected toe.

8. Joint resection: This procedure involves removing a portion of the affected joint to relieve pain and allow the toe to straighten.

9. Joint implantation: In severe cases, where other surgical options have failed, joint implantation may be considered. This involves replacing the affected joint with an artificial implant.

10. Toe amputation: In extreme cases, when all other treatment options have been exhausted, partial or complete toe amputation may be necessary to alleviate pain and prevent further complications.

Common Questions and Answers:

1. Can hammer toes be fixed without surgery?
Yes, non-surgical treatment options such as footwear adjustments, exercises, orthotics, and padding can help alleviate symptoms and correct mild cases.

2. How long does it take to recover from hammer toe surgery?
The recovery period varies depending on the type of surgery performed. It can take several weeks to a few months for complete recovery.

3. Are hammer toes hereditary?
While the exact cause of hammer toes is unknown, there is evidence to suggest that genetics may play a role in their development.

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4. Can I wear high heels with hammer toes?
It is generally recommended to avoid wearing high heels as they can worsen the condition and increase discomfort.

5. Can hammer toes be prevented?
Maintaining proper foot care, wearing appropriate footwear, and performing regular toe exercises can help prevent the development of hammer toes.

6. How do I know if I have hammer toes?
Common symptoms of hammer toes include toe pain, corns or calluses, difficulty in moving the affected toe, and a visible bending or curling of the toe.

7. Can hammer toes fix themselves?
Without intervention, hammer toes are unlikely to resolve on their own and may worsen over time.

8. Are hammer toes only caused wearing tight shoes?
While wearing tight shoes can contribute to the development of hammer toes, other factors such as genetics, arthritis, and foot injuries can also play a role.

9. What should I do if my hammer toe becomes infected?
If you suspect an infection in your hammer toe, seek medical attention immediately. Infections can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

10. Can I still exercise with hammer toes?
Low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling are generally safe for individuals with hammer toes. However, consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

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11. Can I fix hammer toes at home?
While some non-surgical treatment options can be done at home, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

12. Will hammer toe surgery leave a scar?
Surgical scars are inevitable, but they are usually small and well-hidden. Over time, the scars tend to fade.

13. Can hammer toes come back after surgery?
In some cases, hammer toes can recur after surgery. Proper post-operative care and following the advice of your healthcare professional can help reduce the risk of recurrence.

14. What are the risks of hammer toe surgery?
Like any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with hammer toe surgery, including infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and poor wound healing. Discuss these risks with your surgeon before undergoing the procedure.

In conclusion, hammer toes can be effectively treated through a variety of non-surgical and surgical options. Early intervention and proper foot care can help prevent the condition from worsening. If you suspect you have hammer toes, consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

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