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When You Should Have Your Feet Examined for Hammertoe

You may be in the habit of wearing stilettos to work or on a night out. You may like the way fashionable shoes look, but they’re not always healthy for your feet. If your toes are in pain, or remain bent even after you take off your shoes, the cause may be hammertoe. 

Hammertoe is a common deformity of the three middle toes. It’s often the result of wearing shoes that fit improperly. Though styles like stilettos and high heels are often the culprit, any shoes that crowd your toes can cause hammertoe.

The expert podiatrists at ToeOp in Tomball, Texas are here to tell you everything you need to know about hammertoe and when you should seek treatment. 

Why it happens

Hammertoe usually occurs because of wearing heels or improper footwear. When you wear tight-fitting heels with little support, it can restrict your toe ligaments from holding their original position.

Your toes are supposed to point straight ahead. However, if you’re in the habit of wearing shoes that crowd your toes, your toes may get used to being in an abnormal position. They may start to bend downward, even when you’re not wearing shoes, as if they’re still stuck inside the cramped shoe. 

Improper shoes are a common cause of hammertoe, but you’re more likely to develop hammertoe if you have certain risk factors. You’re at a greater risk if your second toe is longer than their big toe. Diseases like arthritis and diabetes can also contribute to toe deformities.

When to see a doctor

Symptoms of hammertoe start with a hammer-like bend in your toe and can progressively get worse if not treated. In the early stages, you can still move your toe, even if it’s bent. However, as the condition progresses, your toe may become stuck in a bent position.

Jeremy Moran, DPM suggests coming in as soon as you see your toe starting to slant inward or when you experience a deformity. It’s easiest to treat hammertoes the earlier you seek treatment.

In the early stages of hammertoe, Dr. Moran uses noninvasive treatment to keep it from getting worse and to help alleviate pain. Treatment may involve orthopedic foot inserts, foot exercises, and cortisone injections.

If noninvasive treatment doesn’t work or in severe cases of hammertoe, Dr. Moran may suggest surgery. This may involve removing a piece of bone to restore the joint’s proper placement.

Take care of your feet

Cute, stylish shoes may not be best for your feet. To keep your feet healthy, it’s important to make practical footwear choices. Be sure to wear shoes that are not only supportive but fit properly.

Here are some criteria to look for the next time you shop for shoes:

Caring for your feet doesn’t just mean wearing the proper shoes. It’s also very important to spend time washing your feet, cutting your toenails, and making sure you have good circulation. If you’re sitting down, make sure to elevate your feet to circulate blood flow. If your feet are aching, stretch and massage them for comfort.

Find out more

Your feet have the important task of supporting your entire weight and getting you from A to B. That’s why it’s incredibly important to spend time taking care of them. 

If you think you have a hammertoe, now is the best time to seek treatment or else you may need surgery in the future. Get your feet examined today by calling us at 281-819-3961.

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