Posts for category: Foot Conditions
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know patients are able to readily identify a hammertoe by its characteristic bent shape causing it to resemble a hammer. However, they often don’t know much about what causes them or what treatments are available. Below are some facts about this common
FACT: Hammertoe is actual a deformity of or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toe. It is caused by a muscle imbalance.
FACT: Hammertoes are a progressive condition. This means they will get worse over time unless treatment intervenes with the progression. In their early stages, hammertoes are still flexible and the toe can be straightened using conservative measures. Left untreated, the hammertoe will become rigid and unable to bend. At that point, surgery is the only option for correcting the deformity.
FACT: In addition to examining your toe and foot, the podiatrist will likely order an x-ray of the foot. This will be used to assess the severity of the deformity and also to monitor its progression in the future.
FACT: A secondary condition that often accompanies hammertoes is painful corns. These develop on the top and front of the toe as a result of rubbing and pressure from footwear on this part of the toe that is exposed due to the
FACT: There are several effective treatment options for hammertoes. These include:
- Changing your shoes to styles made of soft materials with roomy toe boxes
- Doing exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles
- Straps to realign the bent toe
- A custom orthotic device to help correct the muscle imbalance and foot position
- Icing and oral medications
- Pads to cushion and protect corns if they have formed
If you have noticed your toe appearing to be bending oddly at the joint, don’t delay. Contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices so that our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M.
At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we treat many patients with the deformity known as hammertoe. Patients can usually easily identify this condition by the bend in the middle joint of the second, third or fourth toe that causes it to resemble its namesake. What they may be less aware of, however, is that there are treatment options available to decrease pain and discomfort from hammertoes. In addition, not treating a hammertoe in its early stages can result in it becoming rigidly fixed in the bent position. Over time, painful corns and calluses may develop on the top of the toe joint or the tip of the toe.
Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M.
Medication—cortisone injections may be prescribed to relieve extreme pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs may also be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
Taping—to change the imbalance around the toes and provide pain relief by altering the pressure on the toe, taping may be used.
Padding—placing soft padding on the top of the hammertoe can offer immediate relief from pressure and friction from footwear.
Shoe modifications—choosing shoes with roomy toe boxes made out of soft, flexible material may also help.
Exercises—the foot doctor may prescribe toe stretching and muscle strengthening exercises.
Custom orthotics—inserts made for your unique foot can redistribute weight and correct faulty foot function to reduce the imbalance causing the hammertoe.
If conservative measures fail to bring relief or the hammertoe has progressed to a permanently rigid position, surgery may be the only option. If you suspect you have a hammertoe developing, don’t delay. Contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices as soon as possible.
A condition that we treat frequently at Connecticut Foot Care Centers is bunions. We find that most patients are able to easily identify a bunion by its telltale bump on the side of the big toe, but often don’t know much more about this disorder. Below are some facts to help you better understand bunions and what to do about them:
FACT: A bunion is a deformity in the bone which occurs as a result of an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe. The toe moving out of place and moving towards the second toe is what produces the bony protrusion on the side of the toe. In some cases, the toe will even overlap the third toe or rotate and twist. Bunions can lead to additional deformities as well, such as hammertoe.
FACT: Unfortunately, by the time a bunion is visibly obvious, it has progressed to a more severe state. The best time to evaluate and treat a bunion is in its earliest stages. If you notice even a slight appearance of your toe beginning to look crooked or out of place, or if you start to feel pain or numbness in the toe, that’s the time to contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices. Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will quickly examine your toe and diagnose the source of your discomfort.
FACT: There several conservative treatments available for bunion sufferers, including:
- Modifying footwear and choosing styles with low heels and roomy toe boxes
- Custom orthotic devices to help correct the position of the foot and stabilize the joint
- Exercises and physical therapy to maintain range of motion and joint flexibility
- Night splints to realign the toe and joint
- Padding, if friction and pressure are causing pain to the toe
FACT: Although bunions are not inherited, the biomechanical defect that predisposes a patient to develop a bunion can be passed on. One of the best ways to prevent bunions is to limit time spent in footwear with high heels and narrow pointy toe boxes. Other conditions such as flat feet and neuromuscular problems can also lead to bunions. Taking care of your feet and not ignoring the pain and other symptoms can also lower your risk of bunions.
You may not be sure what’s wrong, but all you know is that your feet hurt! The pain seems to be mostly in your toes, however, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to flex them like you used to. Maybe you stubbed your toe or haven’t quite recovered from that night out in super high heels. Or perhaps you have a bunion on your big toe that somehow seems to be causing pain in your other toes. While bunions only affect your big toe, discomfort and loss of flexibility in your other toes can be a telltale sign of a similar but different issue. How can you tell if you have hammertoes or are at a higher risk of developing them?
- Your foot pain tends to localize specifically to your toes.
- Your toes, besides your big toe, tend to scrunch or tense up even when relaxed.
- It’s uncomfortable or painful to stretch or stand on your tippy-toes.
- You’ve noticed sores, corns, calluses, or irritation on the tip or ‘knuckles’ of your toes where they tend to rub against your shoes.
- There is little to no space in your shoes for your feet to stretch or flex.
- You often wear shoes with heels that are one inch or higher.
- You develop blisters, corns, or calluses elsewhere on your feet that might indicate excessive tension, friction, or irritation from your shoes.
While hammertoes can be painful and difficult to deal with, they are far from impossible to treat. Connecticut Foot Care Centers is here to help! The worst cases may require surgical correction but it doesn’t have to get to that point! The earlier you address the problem with Dr. Jeffrey S. Kahn, Dr. Craig M. Kaufman, Dr. Ayman M. Latif, or Dr. Raffaella R. Pascarella, the better your chances are of overcoming this uncomfortable foot issue. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our six locations across Rocky Hill, Bristol, Middletown, Glastonbury, Newington, and Kensington, Connecticut!
Bunions have become common occurrences due to the fact that popular fashion trends bring tight and uncomfortable shoes, which in turn cause the big toe to point towards its adjacent toe. Since women tend to wear different types of shoes that are narrow and have high heels, they have a higher chance then men do of developing bunions. This condition can also be hereditary as abnormal bone growth can make certain individuals better candidates for developing bunions. If bunions are not cared for after forming, they can become filed with fluid and become very painful or hinder mobility due to the difficulty in wearing shoes that fit properly.
Preventative measures for this condition include wearing shoes with wide toe boxes that are comfortable, wearing special pads on the area of the foot where bunions are most likely to form or wearing spacers to cause a separation in the first two toes. Taking these steps will help to stop unnecessary friction from occurring on the toes most susceptible to developing bunions.
When the steps measured above are not enough to stop the onset of bunions and thereafter infection, surgery will be used to further reduce pain. Surgery will also likely be required for diabetics who develop bunions due to complications and dangers associated with their particular condition. It’s also important to note that although surgery is very helpful, it will not guarantee that you can go back to wearing tight fitting shoes or performing physical activities that place intense amounts of stress on feet. Please visit the Patient Education section of our website for more information about this surgical procedure and contact us to schedule a visit.
Our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Richard E. Ehle, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M. and Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M., can deliver lasting treatment for this condition. Please give us a call to learn more or come see us at the Connecticut Foot Care Centers, LLC, located in Rocky Hill (860) 563-1200, Bristol (860) 582-0747, Middletown (860) 346-5226, Glastonbury (860) 633-6749, Newington (860) 666-2078 and Kensington (860) 828-9455, Connecticut.