Hammertoe is a deformity of the foot that causes toes to bend or curl in a downward fashion rather than point forward. This deformity is typically the result of a muscle imbalance between the tendons on top and the tendons on the bottom of the toe. Hammertoes in Bethesda can be flexible or rigid and they can affect any toe on your foot but are typically reported on the second or third toe.
Women are at a higher risk of developing hammertoe compared to men due to their shoe choice (high heels). Hammertoes tend to worsen over time, so it’s important to seek medical treatment from Dr. Duggirala or Dr. Deroy at Bethesda Foot & Ankle Center when they first begin to form. Because of this, hammertoe can become a serious problem and is especially true for people with diabetes because it could affect your ability to walk.
Types and Causes of Hammertoe in Bethesda
There are generally two types of hammertoe: flexible and rigid. If the toe can still move at the joint, and the toe is still moveable, it is considered a flexible hammertoe. This form of hammertoe is in the beginning stages of its development and it can be reversed non-surgically. If left untreated, your flexible hammertoe can become rigid, meaning the toe can no longer move on its own. These types of hammertoe usually require surgery to correct.
A hammertoe develops due to an imbalance of the muscles in the toes. The unbalance typically causes increased pressure on the tendons and joints in the toe, which is when hammertoe in Bethesda typically develops. While poor shoe choice is typically the main cause of hammertoe, other common causes include:
- Other foot conditions (such as bunions or corns)
By visiting Dr. Duggirala or Dr. Deroy at Bethesda Foot & Ankle Center, you can learn more about the different types and causes of hammertoe.
Bethesda Hammertoe Treatment
Treating hammertoe in Bethesda varies depending on the severity of your condition. To treat mild hammertoe in Bethesda, MD, Dr. Duggirala or Dr. Deroy will start with conservative methods—such as padding or anti-inflammatory medications. Flexible hammertoe can be corrected by simply wearing properly fitting shoes, while other treatments involve gently stretching the toes to relieve pain and reposition it.
If the toe has become rigid and is causing too much pain, our podiatrists in Bethesda, MD may choose to surgically remove the deformity. Surgery is performed to reposition the toe, remove deformed or injured bone, and realign tendons. Most procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and rarely require extended downtime or time away from work.
Contact Dr. Duggirala or Dr. Deroy at Bethesda Foot & Ankle Center to learn more about hammertoe and available treatment options.