Tag Archives: hammer toe

Nerve entrapment / Neuroma

Summary

  • Thickening of the tissue that surrounds the nerve leading to the toes. Burning pain in the ball of the foot that may goes into the toes which generally intensifies with activity or wearing shoes. There may also be numbness or an unpleasant feeling in the toes.

How did I get this?

  • Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma (e.g. wearing high healed or tight shoes). Foot deformities are risk factors. Injury and trauma to the feet can also lead to this condition.

What can I do about it?

  • Placing an icepack on the affected area helps reduce swelling.
  • Activities that put repetitive pressure on the neuroma should be avoided until the condition improves.
  • Wear shoes with a wide toe box and avoid narrow-toed shoes or shoes with high heels.
  • Padding techniques provide support lessening the pressure on the nerve and decreasing the compression when walking.

What help can I get for this?

    • Podiatry consultation for treatments that include footwear advice, padding, orthotics, and may advise guided injections for alleviating the pain.
    • Surgery may be considered if not responded adequately to non-surgical treatments.

When will it get better?

  • Appropriate treatment can provide swift relief, but you will still need to consider long-term measures to help keep your symptoms from returning.

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HAMMER TOE

Summary

  • Hammertoe is a contracture (bending) of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes when the long muscles originating from the lower leg overpower the smaller muscles in the foot. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop such as pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes, a buildup of skin (on toe, between two toes, or on the ball of the foot), inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation.

How did I get this?

  • Family history, arthritis, trauma, bunions, tight footwear, and neurological conditions such as stroke or peripheral neuropathy.

What can I do about it?

  • New shoes that have soft, roomy toe boxes (should be 1cm longer than your longest toe).
  • Avoid wearing tight, narrow, high-heeled shoes.
  • Find a shoe with a deep toe box that accommodates the hammer toe.
  • Sandals may help, as long as they do not pinch or rub other areas of the foot.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may prescribe pads designed to shield corns and calluses from irritation.
  • Podiatrist may prescribe orthotic devices placed in your shoe to help control the muscle/tendon imbalance.
  • Podiatrist may advise splints or small straps to realign the bent toe.
  • Possible surgery when the hammertoe has become more rigid and painful, or when an open sore has developed.

When will it get better?

  • This is a progressive deformity which can only be corrected with surgery. Treatment for the symptoms and appropriate footwear will help to keep you comfortable.
  • After surgery the length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.