What is a Hammer Toe?
Hammer toes (or bent, crooked or claw toes as they can be known as) curl downward. They may also tuck under adjacent toes and look like crooked or contracted toes. Hammer toes are very common and can be present in children and adults.
They can cause embarrassment, problems with footwear, skin irritation, pain, nail deformity, corns and callous. Toe deformities are one of the most complex deformities of the foot. They require accurate diagnosis with the exact cause identified. They can affect men, women and people of all ages.
What Causes Bent Toes?
There are many causes for curled or bent toes. The most common causes are associated with abnormal foot function. Imbalance in muscle function due to poor anatomic alignment can move the toes in the wrong position. Continued use of unsupportive footwear can also lead to hammer toes as they bend and try to grip on to the shoe. Other causes can include muscle wasting, nerve problems, genetic deformities and trauma.
Hammer Toe Treatment in Perth
Treatment of hammer toes depends on the stage of deformity. Conservative treatments are available for flexible toes that can straighten with pressure. Treatment aims to eliminate pain, reduce deformity, prevent further deformity and protect the skin. There are also minor procedures available for straightening these toes under local anaesthetic in our consulting rooms. Dr Azarian will discuss your options with you based on the nature of your toe deformity.
How About Surgery to Straighten the Toes?
More rigid deformities will require surgical straightening. This is one of the most commonly performed procedures by our podiatric surgeon Dr Azarian. Hammertoe surgery can be safely performed under local anaesthetic with light sedation or under general anaesthesia. It is a day surgery procedure, which allows faster recovery and immediate weight-bearing after surgery. Several surgical options exist based on the nature of the deformity and its location.
How Long Does Hammer Toe Surgery Take and is it Painful?
This depends on the complexity of the deformity and also on how many procedures are performed. On average, hammer toe surgery can take as little as 20 minutes to 1 hour.
Most patients report minimal pain and only require simple pain killers for the first few days.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with any type of hammer toe treatment, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Call today for a consultation.