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Hammertoes get their name because they have started bending downward at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. In the early stages, before the hammertoe has become severely bent and rigid, different therapies may be applied to prevent further bending. These measures may help avoid future surgery. Toes can rub against each other, and on the inside of your shoes, causing blisters and painful corns, the extra space that a wide toe box provides can help avoid these complications.
● Wear properly fitted shoes with a square toe box—Additional room in the toe box for your toes to move without rubbing will prevent blisters and corns and provide space for orthotic inserts.
● Use insulating and isolating pads and custom orthotic inserts—Orthotic inserts including metatarsal lifts are used to redirect tendons to help pull the toes back into alignment. Corn pads and insulating moleskin can be used to treat blisters and prevent corns from getting worse.
● Take medications to reduce pain and swelling—Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be taken in moderation for pain relief and swelling reduction.
● Physical therapy—A variety of exercises like toe scrunches and marble pick-up are performed to improve strength and flexibility and help straighten bent toes and tendons.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort from hammertoes, see your podiatrist for the most comprehensive care.
The foot experts at Desert Podiatric Medical Specialists, in the Tucson, Oro Valley, and Green Valley areas of Pima County, Arizona, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle care. Our team of doctors: Christopher M. Funk, D.P.M., FACFAS, Bradley A. Whitaker, D.P.M., FACFAS, and Peter C. Merrill, D.P.M., AACFAS, and Zeno Pfau, D.P.M., is dedicated to serving you with state-of-the-art, cutting edge medical technologies including the PinPointe FootLaser, custom-fitted orthotics, and Radial Pulse Therapy (RPT) for chronic foot, heel, or ankle pain. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call (520) 575-0800.