Posts for category: Toe conditions
The deformity called hammertoe gets its name because of the propensity of the middle toes to bend into the shape of a hammer due to muscle and tendon imbalances. These imbalances are actually hereditary, but they can become exacerbated by stress and pressure. Shoes like high heels that push your toes together are a major cause of toe deformities like hammertoes and bunions.
Hammertoes are more flexible and more easily straightened in the early stages of the condition. Seeing your podiatrist at this stage will allow you to effectively treat your hammertoes without the need for surgery. A variety of methods are used to stretch and hold the toes in a straighter position.
Some excellent early hammertoe treatments include the following:
- Properly-fitted shoes—Always have your shoes properly fitted to provide the right combination of cushioning and support. A wide toe box is essential for giving your toes room to move without creating friction against your footwear and to allow room for pads and orthotic inserts.
- Physical therapy—Strengthening and flexing your toes with regular therapy exercises will help straighten toes and maintain flexibility in the joints, muscles, and tendons. Toe extension and towel scrunching are excellent exercises for this purpose.
- Padding and custom orthotic inserts—Orthotic shoe inserts can redirect pressure from the bent toes and aid in straightening. A variety of cushioned pads are available to help reduce rubbing against the corns that often form on top of hammertoes.
When hammertoes have become more advanced, it may be necessary to have a surgical procedure to correct them. Depending upon how rigid and bent your toes have become, several options are available that you can discuss with your foot doctor.
If you are having problems with painful hammertoes, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
If one or more of your toes appears with a bent shape at the joint (like the shape of a hammer), then you probably have a condition known as hammertoe, but it could also be mallet toe, which is pretty much the same thing. This condition is not always painful in the early stages, but a hammertoe can become more deformed over time, and as it presses harder against your footwear you may develop painful corns on the tops of your hammertoes.
While this condition is usually considered to be hereditary, it can also be exacerbated by other conditions such as arthritis, wearing improperly fitting shoes, and having flat feet. Traumatic injury to the toe, such as by dropping a heavy object like a laptop on it, can also aggravate this condition.
Diagnosis and treatment of hammertoes
A comprehensive foot examination by your podiatrist will determine the severity of the muscle contractions and tendon imbalance that may be causing the toe to bend improperly. X-rays and MRI’s will more accurately determine the extent of the toe deformity.
Some of the treatments your podiatrist may recommend include the following:
●Custom orthotic inserts—Orthotics address a variety of complications including imbalance between the muscle and tendon which may be the cause of the deformity.
●Splinting and strapping—These can be used to help realign the toes and force them into position.
●Cushions and padding—Store bought or specially-made pads can be used on corns to help prevent rubbing and blister formation.
●Pain relieving meds—For pain and inflammation.
●Strength and flexibility exercises—Toe stretching and flexibility exercises such as towel scrunches and marble pickups will help strengthen muscles.
If you are experiencing painful and rigid toes, you may have a hammertoe problem, so be sure to consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
Are you having considerably difficulty bending your large toe? A stiff big toe, or hallux rigidus, can be caused when degenerative arthritis settles into the big toe joint. This condition generally occurs in older folks, since the wear and tear of time on your feet can be largely responsible. Having flat feet, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis can make you more likely to develop a stiff big toe. You don’t really notice how important your big toes are for walking, climbing stairs, or just standing up until you have a problem bending them.
Diagnosis of hallux rigidus can be complicated since the symptoms can be similar to those caused by a bunion. Since the arthritis of hallux rigidus occurs gradually, the initial stages may only limit the movement of the toe and complete stiffness may not occur until later. This initial stage is called hallux limitus. Getting treatment as early as possible will help avoid further complications, so see your foot specialist for proper identification and treatment.
Once the diagnosis of hallux rigidus is confirmed, conservative treatments may include:
- Corticosteroid injection—This may restore normal movement and require several injections spread over time.
- Custom orthotic inserts and proper shoes—These devices are specially made and strategically placed in your footwear to redistribute the pressure and stress on the toes and improve the overall functioning of the foot. They are used in conjunction with properly fitted shoes that have stiffer soles to help relieve pressure on the big toe joint.
- Ibuprofen—Or other recommended anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve pain and inflammation.
For more expert advice on hallux rigidus treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!
When the corner of your toenail grows into the soft skin on the side of your toe, not only can it be extremely painful, but also it can lead to a serious infection. One of the leading causes of ingrown toenails is cutting the nails too short and rounded instead of straight across. Wearing shoes that are too tight can also cause a poorly trimmed nail to push harder into the skin.
Symptoms will include pain, redness, and swelling of the skin on the edge of the nail, tenderness to touch, and a yellowish discharge that may be the sign of an infection.
Treatment for ingrown toenails:
Often an ingrown toenail will heal with the help of warm water foot soaks and elevation to take the pressure off the toe, but any signs of pus or redness accompanied by increasing pain should be addressed promptly to avoid possible spreading of the infection to the underlying tissue and bone. In some ingrown toenail cases, your foot doctor may need to cut out the infected tissue and trim the nail. This can be done on an outpatient basis on a local anesthetic, and the recovery period is minimal.
Patients with diabetes should be extremely careful to visually check for ingrown toenails, since the pain may not be noticeable due to peripheral neuropathy.
Preventing ingrown toenails:
You can help prevent this condition by always cutting your toenails straight across, and not rounded on the sides. Make sure your shoes are not too tight, and that there is plenty of room in the toebox. Your shoes should also be appropriate for the activity to help prevent injuries to your feet.
For more expert advice on ingrown toenail treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!