A hammertoe causes a bend in the middle joint of a toe. Often, this abnormal positioning causes not only pain but also other symptoms like corns on the affected toe. At Beverly Hills Foot & Ankle, Dr. Nisha Krishnan, DPM, can diagnose and treat hammertoe, corns, and other foot & ankle conditions to give you long-lasting pain relief. Call our office to schedule an appointment today.
Corns are thickened areas of dead skin that typically develop over a bony area of your foot. They're especially common on toe joints but can appear in other parts of your foot as well. Corns develop because of friction or pressure, usually from shoes.
A hammertoe is a joint deformity that can affect all toes except your big toes. If you have a hammertoe, one or both of your toe joints bend upwards. This joint positioning can make it very challenging to wear most shoes without serious discomfort or pain.
The consistent pressure of hammertoes against the fabric of your shoes can lead to corns, which can make your symptoms even worse. Hammertoes don't go away without treatment, and they can become even more rigid and painful over time. Early treatment is vital and makes it easier to correct your hammertoe.
Dr. Krishnan may initially recommend corn pads and footwear changes to reduce discomfort from corns. Sometimes, cortisone injections can relieve pain but won't remove the extra skin. If you have large corns that cause serious pain, Dr. Krishnan may recommend a minor outpatient surgery to remove the excess skin in small increments.
Avoid over-the-counter medicated corn pads. Those pads contain an acid that burns skin away, and it's easy to accidentally destroy healthy skin that way.
Hammertoe treatment, as with corn treatment, depends on how invasive the symptoms are. Dr. Krishnan may recommend footwear changes to start. Wearing shoes with a roomy toe box may alleviate hammertoe pain quite effectively, but it won't actually correct the hammertoe.
Other options to relieve hammertoe pain may include:
If none of these options help your hammertoe, you may need surgery to realign your toe. Because it's fairly common to have other problems such as corns along with hammertoe, Dr. Krishnan often corrects several issues during a single procedure.