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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
April 19, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Orthotics   hammertoes   calluses   corns  

Many times at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we see patients with hammertoes who have waited (and suffered) a long time before coming to us because they feared surgery. Ironically, the best way to avoid surgery for a hammertoe is to come to the foot doctor as soon as you first notice the tendency of your second, third or fourth toe to bend downward into the namesake shape of a hammer. Our podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker will start by examining your toe and foot and most likely getting an x-ray of the toe. Then an appropriate treatment plan can be created. There are several non-invasive ways to treat hammertoe including:

Medications—if the hammertoe is causing a good deal of pain, the podiatrist may recommend oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation. Corticosteroid injections are another medication option for bringing pain relief.

Footwear Modifications—your choice of shoes can greatly aggravate or ease the pressure on a hammertoe. You will want to avoid high heels and shoes with narrow and short toe boxes that force the deformed toe up against the front of the shoe. Shoes made of soft material with a roomy toe box will be more comfortable and will lessen the irritation to the affected toe.

Padding—if corns or calluses have formed as a result of the hammertoe the foot doctor can prescribe pads to protect these areas on the toe and foot from further pressure and friction.

Splinting/strapping—the foot doctor may use splints or straps to realign the toe.

Orthotic devices—since the primary cause of hammertoe is a muscle/tendon imbalance that can be caused by a structural problem in the foot the podiatrist may suggest an orthotic device to be worn in your shoes to help control the imbalance.

What’s important to note is that hammertoe will not go away without treatment. Although it may progress slowly and not cause discomfort initially it will eventually progress to the point where the toe is rigid and surgery is the only option. If you believe you have a hammertoe or the beginnings of one, contact our Washington office for an appointment at your earliest convenience by calling: (724) 225-7410.

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