We know, we know—most people would rather not go to the doctor until they absolutely have to, even though we do our best to make your experience as pleasant as possible. So it doesn’t necessarily surprise us when people don’t see us for months, or even years, after their toes have begun to curl.
We do offer help for your hammertoes, no matter what stage they’re in. But please, don’t procrastinate—the earlier we see you, the more successful avenues remain open to deal with the problem using simple, non-surgical methods.
As a progressive condition, hammertoes do not improve without some kind of intervention. If you’re sitting around hoping they’ll get better if you just go easy on them, we’ve got bad news for us—it doesn’t work that way.
However, if the case is still mild and the joints are still flexible, conservative options remain viable long-term solutions. Such treatments may include:
- A nice new pair of shoes, preferably one with enough space in the toe box for your toes to move and wiggle without constriction or friction.
- Certain toe exercises can help strengthened weakened toe muscles, limiting progression of the condition.
- Splints, straps, buddy taping, or other small devices that comfortably keep toes in proper alignment.
- Prefabricated or custom orthotic inserts designed to correct any foot structure imbalances that may be contributing to hammertoe development.
- Toe pads to protect the tops of your toes against friction—handy for preventing uncomfortable corns.
If you drag your feet on treatment until the toes become severely deformed, with rigid digits—or if conservative treatments do not provide adequate symptom relief—then surgical treatment options may be considered. While this is the only way to truly “correct” a hammertoe, we try to avoid it until all other options have been exhausted. If we do end up recommending surgery, we’ll discuss the particulars with you at your appointment—the precise procedures performed, as well as length of recovery and rehab, will vary on a case-by-case basis.
For help with your hammertoes, at any stage, please contact Dr. Keith McSpadden of North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute. For an appointment at our office in Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX, dial 512-593-2949 today.