Dr. Brandon Nelson, A Board Certified Physician & Surgeon, Discusses Best Treatment Options for Hammer Toes

Dr. Brandon Nelson, A Board Certified Physician & Surgeon, Discusses Best Treatment Options for Hammer Toes

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

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