hammer toes

Displaying items by tag: hammer toes

Hammertoes are a common pathology I see in my office.  Most patients with curled toes have pain with activities and a hard time fitting shoes.  They describe a progression of the toes where other forefoot pathologies can be present. 

 

Causes:

The most common cause appears to be foot structure and genetics.  We see patients that have flatter feet require increased pressure from the tendons in their toes to stabilize.  This repetitive pressure can cause pain and discomfort.  Some people will inherit a foot structure that can predispose them to hammer toes.  These foot structures are ones that often develop bunions as well.

Symptoms:

The symptoms can vary from patient to patient.  The most common symptoms include swelling and pain.  Some patients relate a significant stiffness or bending to the toes that pushes in their shoes.    All can be painful, especially with physical activities. 

Treatment:

We have many options available for hammer toes.  But it should be noted it is based on the degree of the hammer toe.  How significant is the bending and contracture of the digit.  It is important to have a good clinical evaluation and an x-ray.  If you would like a consultation for your hammer toe pain I can help.  Call to make an appointment with me at 425-391-8666 or make an online appointment.

Sincerely,

Dr Brandon Nelson

American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons

Issaquah’s Top Podiatrist

 

hammertoe

Hammer toes refer to a curling downward of the toes.  This can occur in one or more toes and can be a stand-alone pathology or with another type of foot condition like a bunion.  The hammer toe is often caused by shoe gear choices, trauma or inherited from mom and dad.  It typically gets worse with time and makes it hard to exercise or fit in shoes properly.

 The conservative options for hammer toes can sometimes relieve pain.  These options are such things as wearing larger or wider shoes, taping the toes, or using pads or spacers.  It is important to note that this does not fix the hammer toe.  Additionally, with time it usually gets worse and the toe curls more.

Long term or surgical correction is the usuals course for most patients.  This involves addressing the underlying causes of the hammertoe or toes.  It is important to look at the overall foot structure and any contributing factors.  The surgical procedure to correct a hammer toe can be removal of a bone or removal of a bone and soft tissue balancing.  Sometimes it requires pinning of the hammer toe to allow the new position to heal and correct itself. 

If you would like a consultation on your hammer toes I can help.  Call to make an appointment with me at 425-391-8666 or schedule an appointment online. 

Sincerely,

Dr Brandon Nelson

American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons

hammertoe

Hammer toes are a curling of the digits of the feet.  Specifically the middle of the toes bend downwards and from the side looks similar to a hammer.  There are other digital deformities as well like claw toes and mallet toes.   But today we will just discuss hammer toes. 

Most of the time it is an inherited foot structure that causes hammer toes.  An example of this is a flatfoot.  A person is born with a flat foot and over time the tendons that run to the toes have been working to create an arch for so long the toes permanently deform creating a hammer toe.  There are other causes but the number one cause is the flexor tendons on the bottom of the toe overpowering the other tendons.  Once the tendon imbalance occurs hammer toes are the results. 

There are a few options for treatment of hammer toes.  It is based upon the flexibility of the hammer toe.  Is the hammer toe flexible or rigid?   If the hammer toe is flexible you can release a tendon and the toe will lay flat.  However if the hammer toe is rigid you must remove a small piece of bone in order to get correction.  I also recommend looking at the foot structure that is influencing the hammer toe and correct that as well. 

If you have hammer toes and would like to discuss how I can help make an appointment with me today.  Give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today.

Sincerely, Dr. Brandon Nelson 

hammertoe

Hammer toes
are quite common and can continue to get worse as time progresses.  They are often associated with other foot deformities like bunions or flat feet but can be a standalone pathology.  There is usually a family history associated with them or an underlying trauma that caused the development of the hammer toe or toes.  Additionally, they can occur with over powering of certain tendons in the foot.  The majority of hammer toes will require surgical care but some can be managed with padding and strapping.

Conservative care of hammer toes can be helpful especially during the initial development.  There are several techniques for tapping hammer toes and even straps and splints that can be purchased to help control the toes.  It is also advisable to stretch the calf and not go barefoot.  However the vast majority of hammer toes will get worse and eventually require surgical intervention.

Surgical care for hammertoes can be divided into two types of procedures, soft tissue and bone.  The determining factor for which procedure is appropriate is based on the clinical exam of the toe and the patient.  Release of the long flexor tendon can be helpful in controlling the hammering digit as long as it is a flexible deformity.  We often see this in the pediatric or geriatric patient as the hammer toes first develop.  The longer the hammer toe is present the more likely bone work will need to be done.  The most common procedure is a resection of the phalangeal head of the affected digit.  Hammer toe surgery done in isolation allows for full ambulation after the procedure.

If you have hammer toes or other digital deformities I can help. Give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Brandon Nelson

hammertoe

Hammer toes
are a condition that develops with a certain foot structure. We see the average hammer toe patient has some underlying foot instability and usually another pathology. The most common pathologies that goes along with hammer toes are bunions or a flatfoot. Sometimes the bunion can cause crowding of the toes, or the flatfoot can cause an increase pull on the tendons to stabilize the foot.

Hammer toes tend to develop with time and milage and get worse with both. The are usually seen as a curling of the toes or a protrusion of the toe bones on the top of the foot. Patients usually begin to feel pressure in their shoes or a rubbing of the digits. This can lead to increased pain and even sores that can become infected.

I always recommend an x-ray as a starting point then an overall foot exam. There are both conservative and surgical options for hammer toes and it depends on location and number of toes involved.

If you have hammer toes or pain in your toes I am happy to help!

Sincerely,

Dr Brandon Nelson

hammertoe


Hammer toes
are a condition that affects usually multiple toes in the foot.  This condition can occur on one foot or both.  It is often part of an overall deformity of the foot for example a bunion with hammer toes is common.  There tends to be a family history of hammer toes and pain can begin as the condition worsens.  Often patients will present with pain from shoe gear rubbing or pain with activities like running.  The hammer toes are a progressive deformity and I encourage early intervention to manage the deformity.

The most common cause of hammer toes is the foot trying to stabilize itself.  Often the long flexor tendons of the foot are working to create an arch or support the arch.  Patients often have a flatfoot associated with this pathology and the hammer toes start to progress as the foot becomes flatter.  The foot works hard to try and stop the flattening and the flexor tendons begin to overpower the digits.  The digits begin to curt and hammering is the result. 

The only long-term fix of hammer toes is surgical.  The procedure itself is relatively straightforward and quick.  It involves removing a piece of bone and often lengthening a tendon or releasing some soft tissues.  It is a stepwise approach to the hammer toe that provides the best long-term outcomes.  I have patients that choose to have it done with just some local anesthetic and the recovery is uneventful.

If you are suffering from curling digits and need an evaluation I can help.  Please contact the office at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today.

Sincerely,

Dr Brandon Nelson

Board Certified Physician and Surgeon

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