Is your toe curling in? Is it sticking up or rubbing against your shoe? If so, it is very possible you have a hammertoe.
A hammertoe, similar to a bunion, is hereditary and can develop over time. When there is instability across the ball of your foot it leads to contracture of the toes. Symptoms include pain across the ball of the foot, calluses or rubbing on your shoe. Just like other foot problems, treating a hammertoe has both conservative and surgical approaches.
Conservatively there are different types of pads that are utilized to either slide over the toe or sit under the ball of the foot to add cushion or offloading. Custom orthotics with cut outs/padding across the ball of the foot can also be helpful, not just at alleviating pressure but also supporting your foot better. Local cortisone injections have also proven to be helpful within the affected joint.
Surgically correcting your toe also has a couple options. If you have a reducible hammertoe, most of the time an in office procedure called a tenotomy/capsulotomy can be performed to release the deforming force via a small incision. No stitches are required and typically within a week you’re back in your regular shoes. On the other hand if you have a more rigid hammertoe, a more aggressive surgery is required to remove the knuckle of the toe and straighten it with a screw or wire to prevent recurrence.
If you have a hammertoe causing pain or discomfort with shoes, contact Healthy Feet Podiatry for your treatment options and alleviation of your symptoms.