Say Goodbye to Hammer Toes & Bunions
Hammer toe is an unnatural bending of one or both joints in the second, third, fourth and/or fifth toes. A bunion, on the other hand is an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the base of the big toe. The big toe may turn in toward the second toe and the tissues surrounding the joint may be swollen and tender. Hammer toes often begin as mild deformities and get progressively worse over time. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Hammer-like or claw-like appearance
- Mallet toe is a related deformity at the end of a toe, with a mallet-like appearance
- Pain and difficulty moving the toe
- Corns and calluses from rubbing against footwear
The most common cause of hammer toe is wearing poorly fitted shoes that force the toe into a bent position. Having your toes bent for long periods of time can cause the muscles to shorten, resulting in deformity. Corns or calluses often accompany hammer toe. Other causes include muscle, nerve or joint damage resulting from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes.
Bunions are the result of genetic factors where cetain tendons, ligaments and supportive structures in the foot do not function correctly, leading to flat feet, abnormal bone structure and neurological conditions. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Irritated skin around the bunion
- Pain in joint when walking
- Shifting of the big toe toward the other toes
Dr. Prant’s treatment for these conditions includes:
- Removing corns
- Retraining flexible deformities by taping, silicon molds or inserts
- Change in footwear
- Activity modification
- Injection therapy
- Medication to reduce inflamation and pain
While conservative treatments are often enough, some patients need minor surgery to correct hammertoes that are permanently bent. Most patients require only local anesthesia and walk immediately after the procedure.
Don’t live with an uncomfortable foot or ankle condition. Get experienced, expert help from Austin’s most trusted podiatrist, Dr. Gary Prant. For more information or to make your appointment, please call us at 512.335.1800. We serve the communities of Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Westlake and Jollyville.