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Mitchell Wachtel D.P.M.

Hammertoe: Don’t Get Bent Out of Shape before Spring

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Foot on log outside Spring weather appears to be just around the corner. Prepare by freeing your feet from winter boots, while you look forward to warm weather shoes. Feet that are constantly stuffed inside tight fitting shoes or boots may develop hammertoes, or bent toes that resemble claws. This condition can then lead to calluses, corns, and worst of all, toe pain.

It’s fairly simple to treat a hammertoe with conservative measures. The idea is to relieve the pain, so the very first thing you need to do is change your shoes. Choose footwear that have big toe boxes with plenty of room. If that doesn’t help, move the toes back to their correct position by taping the bent toe to a straight one.

There are also different exercises you can try to gently force the mallet toe back to normal. To help ease the pain, you can wear custom-made orthotics or moleskin pads. A doctor may recommend a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, but always consult with them first.

If the hammertoe isn’t responding to any of these nonsurgical methods, and the pain is still present, it might be time to try a more invasive procedure. Surgery is typically a last resort, but in some cases it’s a necessity. The bone, joint, or tissues/tendons can be removed for relief. In extremely rare cases, it might even be necessary for the toe to be amputated.

If you are suffering from the pain caused by hammertoe, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel today at 888-616-2512 to schedule an appointment in one of three Massachusetts office locations. We are here to help with all of your podiatric needs.

 Photo Credit: Simon Howden

 

Dr. Mitchell Wachtel
Dr. Mitchell Wachtel is a North Andover podiatrist who specializes in the treatment of the feet and ankles.
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