If your shoes hurt when you wear them, you may have difficulty getting through your daily activities. Hammertoes and corns can make walking difficult, but the experienced team at North Shore Foot & Ankle offer a range of treatment options to relieve discomfort. To learn more about treatment options for a hammertoe and corns, call the Syosset, NY, Flushing, NY, Rosedale, NY, Plainview, NY, and Lynbrook NY offices, or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is a hammertoe?

If you have a hammertoe, the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your toe are out of balance, so your toe becomes permanently bent. Because the head of the toe faces down toward the ground like a hammer, it’s called hammertoe.

What causes a hammertoe?

Structural imbalance in your toe can be hereditary, the result of an injury, or it could be caused by wearing high heeled shoes or footwear that’s too tight in the toe box. You also have an increased risk of developing a hammertoe based on the following factors.

  • Aging
  • Toe length
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes

Both men and women can have a hammertoe, but women are much more likely to develop the condition.

What are the symptoms of a hammertoe?

A hammertoe usually occurs in the second, third, or fourth toe. If your toes stay bent when your foot is at rest, you may have a hammertoe. Some other signs of a hammertoe include:

  • Pain in the toe when wearing shoes
  • Corns on top of the toe joint
  • Difficult/painful toe movement
  • Pain in the ball of the foot beneath the toe

If you have diabetes, and you have symptoms of a hammertoe, you should schedule a foot exam right away to prevent serious complications.

How is hammertoe treated?

The expert providers at North Shore Foot & Ankle always begin with conservative therapy, and in most cases, this approach will give you relief from pain caused by a hammertoe. Your custom treatment plan may include:

  • Orthotics
  • Exercises and stretches
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Toe splints

If your pain doesn’t resolve, the podiatrists at North Shore Foot & Ankle are skilled surgeons who can correct the structural imbalance that is causing the problem for permanent relief. They can also provide treatment for corns, a common side effect of a hammertoe.

How are corns treated?

When an area of skin on your feet is repeatedly irritated, the skin thickens, eventually hardening into a corn or callus. Corns occur on the top of your feet; they are common in people with a hammertoe, but they can also form any time your shoe irritates the skin on your foot.

Changing shoes or wearing orthotics or foot pads can relieve mild corns and calluses. For larger corns, your podiatrist uses a sterile blade to shave away the dead, thickened skin. This is a painless in-office procedure that offers immediate relief and can be repeated if your corns return.

To find out more about hammertoe and corn treatment options, call North Shore Foot & Ankle or schedule an appointment online.