Posts for tag: hammertoe

By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
July 24, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: hammertoe   Footwear  
HammertoesWhile tight, cramped shoes and those towering high heels may not immediately show you the damage that’s being done to your feet, over time you will certainly notice changes in the structure and function of your feet. Along with bunions, a common foot deformity, hammertoes are another deformity that causes the toes to bend downward at the middle joint. If the problem isn’t corrected, this simple and rather uncomfortable deformity can become severe. Here’s how to determine whether you may have hammertoes and what you can do about it now to prevent it from getting worse.

Wear Appropriate Footwear
You need to make sure that any shoes you wear properly fit your feet. While this might sound silly, many people are guilty of wearing shoes that are too narrow and put too much pressure on the toes. Look for shoes with a wide toe box that allows your feet enough room to wiggle freely. If your toes are bunched up in any of the shoes you have (particularly high heels or shoes with pointed toes) then you will want to avoid these types of shoes whenever possible.

Consider Shoe Inserts
While it’s important to find shoes that cushion and support your foot structure, sometimes people with hammertoes, bunions, and other foot problems that can cause pain can benefit from prescription shoe inserts (also known as orthotics). Orthotics can be crafted to fit the shape of your feet and also to address the issues you’re having (aka alleviating pressure on the toes when standing or walking).

Apply Protective Padding
A hammertoe causes the toe to bend down like a claw. This means that the toe’s joint is sticking out. As you may already know, this causes shoes to rub against the joint, causing a callus to develop. One way to prevent this from happening is to apply a non-medicated pad over the toe joint before putting on shoes.

Practice Pain Management
If your hammertoe starts to ache or hurt, you may want to apply ice to the area throughout the day to help alleviate pain and swelling. If the pain is intense or persistent then you may want to consider taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, which can help with both pain and swelling; however, if your symptoms are severe, you must see a podiatrist about your hammertoe.

Do I need surgery for a hammertoe?
If the hammertoe is flexible (meaning that you can straighten the toe out) then you won’t need surgery; however, if the hammertoe becomes rigid and causes pain and problems with mobility then surgery is recommended.

If you are dealing with hammertoes or other foot problems, you must have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular and immediate care.
By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
August 10, 2016
Category: Proper Foot Care

Did you know that one of the biggest factors in preventing foot problems is choosing well-made shoes that fit properly? Here at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we want to offer our patients some tips to take to the shoe store:

  1. Get your feet professionally measured each time you shop for shoes. As you age or if you are pregnant, your feet size can increase.

  2. Most people have one foot that is larger than the other. Always fit shoes to the larger foot.

  3. Be sure shoes are fitted both to the heel and your toes.

  4. Check that there is at least a half inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. When the shoe is all the way on your foot you should still be able to wiggle your toes freely.

  5. Shop for shoes at the end of the day. That’s when feet tend to be most swollen and at their largest size.

  6. Choose shoes with laces rather than slip-on designs for a more secure fit and to better accommodate orthotic devices, insoles or braces.

  7. Always try on both shoes and spend some time walking around in the store to make sure they are comfortable.

  8. Don’t buy heels that are higher than 2 inches. High heels force the toes into the toe box and squeeze them which can lead to toe deformities such as hammertoe.

  9. Check the inside of the shoe for loose stitching or bumps in the material that can cause irritation. This is especially important if you have a bunion or other foot deformity.

  10. If shoes feel tight or uncomfortable in the store, don’t buy them! A “break-in period” for shoes is a myth and will result in blisters and pain when you wear them.

If you are uncertain whether your foot condition requires special shoe accommodations contact either our Reading office at (781) 944-4044  for an appointment and let one of our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., or Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. examine your foot and make recommendations for the best shoes to protect your foot health.



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New England & Ankle Specialists

(781) 944-4044
30 New Crossing Road Suite 311 Reading, MA 01876