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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
(724) 225-9469 - fax

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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
July 11, 2018
Category: toe deformities
Tags: Orthotics   calluses   corns   hammertoe   x-ray  

Hammertoes are a common condition that we treat at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM. It’s a sad day, however, when a patient comes in for a first visit with a hammertoe that is rigid in its bent condition and the only option available to the patient is surgery. We’d like patients to know that early treatment of a hammertoe is essential and that there are many conservative options available that can delay the progression of a hammertoe and even help correct it.

While it is true that hammertoes are a progressive condition and will not go away on their own, a rigid bent toe is not a hopeless inevitability. If you notice that you have a toe that is beginning to bend downward at one or both joints, make an appointment at our Washington office by calling: (724) 225-7410 to learn more about this condition and what can be done.

Diagnosis and Care

Our podiatrist, Dr, Philip S. Pinsker, will start by examining your toe and getting a complete medical history. Hammertoes are most often caused by a muscle/tendon imbalance which can be hereditary. The foot doctor may want to manipulate your foot and observe how your toe contracts. In addition, an x-ray of the toe may be ordered which he will use to evaluate the current condition of the toe and also to monitor the future progression of the deformity. The podiatrist will also check for secondary conditions that are occurring as a result of the hammertoe such as corns and calluses.

There are multiple treatment options available for hammertoes and the foot doctor will determine the best course of action based on the degree of your deformity and other medical and lifestyle factors. Treatment will focus on relieving discomfort and repositioning the bent toe and may include:

Medication—corticosteroid injections into the toe and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen may be used to reduce inflammation and pain.

Padding—special pads can be used to cover corns and calluses and protect them from further friction and irritation.

Custom orthotics—a custom designed device that goes into your shoe may be utilized to help control the muscle/tendon imbalance.

Splints and straps—the foot doctor may use splints or straps on the affected toe in an attempt to realign it into proper position.

Changes in footwear—choosing shoe styles that do not force the toes into the front of the shoe can slow the progression of the deformity and bring great pain relief. Shoes with wide and roomy toe boxes and low heels are best.

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