If you want to get rid of hammertoe in the literal sense, we do have some bad news for you—this is a progressive condition, and the only way to permanently correct a misaligned toe is to perform surgery.
That said, we still see surgery as a last resort, and we’ll exhaust conservative options first before we make a recommendation for it. They may not “get rid” or your hammertoe, but conservative treatments may take away the pain and discomfort and help you walk and move normally again, especially if you address the problem early—and really, isn’t that the point?
Non-surgical treatment options for hammertoes that may help relieve pain and prevent the condition from getting worse include:
- Opt for shoes that feature wider, deeper toe boxes that give your digits space to wiggle without being compressed or rubbing painfully against the inside of the shoe. This will also help you prevent the formation of corns or calluses from friction.
- If the toes are still flexible (they become rigid over time), toe exercises and even massage are often recommended to strengthen the supporting muscles that move the toes. Splints or “buddy taping” the toes back into position may also help at this stage.
- Over-the-counter metatarsal pads, available at most pharmacies or drug stores, may improve cushioning and support. We may also recommended a custom-crafted orthotic, designed just for you, to help redistribute weight away from painful areas.
If the bend in your toes has become rigid and flexible, and the above strategies are not able to take away your pain, it may be time to show your hammertoes the door for good via surgery. Specific techniques and procedures employed vary based on the severity of your condition; some cases may require only the simple removal of a piece of bone and a realignment, while others may require screws, pins, or other hardware. In any case, the surgery is performed right in our office—no need for an overnight hospital stay.The important thing with hammertoes is to take action quickly. If you do nothing, the problem will only get worse, eventually making surgery necessary. You want to avoid that, and so do we! Call the experts at Carolina Podiatry Group today for help dealing with your hammertoe pain. Dial 888-569-9559 for an appointment at one of our three Metro Charlotte locations—Fort Mill, Chester, or Lancaster, SC.