Medical City Dallas

Baylor, Scott & White Plano


Managing Toes: Hammertoe Surgery to Conservative Methods

Perpetually bent toes, like hammertoes, are a problem for your feet. They’re uncomfortable and can make it difficult for you to walk normally, especially when you wear shoes. Caused by muscle imbalances, they only get worse the longer they go unaddressed. Hammertoe treatment without surgery, as well as hammertoe surgery itself, are options for restoring your foot to health.

Noninvasive Methods

Most digital deformities can be treated quite successfully using conservative methods, especially if the toe has remained flexible. Hammertoe treatment without surgery can range from shoe changes to physical therapy. Dr. Joel W. Brook, Dr. David R. Northcutt, Dr. Irene Arroyo and Dr. John Baca will evaluate your lower limbs to determine how severe your condition is and if any underlying problems may be contributing to the issue. Then, our staff will work with you to find the most effective therapies to relieve your discomfort.

You’ll most likely need to adjust your footwear to make sure you have plenty of room for your digits to move and spread out as they need. Shoes with narrow, shortened, or pointed toe boxes cramp the end of the foot and may encourage the tendons supporting the toes to become imbalanced. High heels force the digits forward in the shoe, too, adding pressure to them. Instead, switch to shoes with wide, deep toe boxes and sufficient arch support. Orthotics that help cushion and stabilize the foot may help as well. They can also manage any underlying conditions that may have either caused or worsened your problem.

Padding and icing your toes may relieve some of your discomfort. The pads will protect your bent digits from rubbing uncomfortably against your shoes. Ice will help decrease any inflammation that has developed in the toe. Since the problem is the result of imbalanced tendons, though, physical therapy exercises may help your foot work through the problem. Stretching the tightened tissues helps them to relax and not pull so painfully on the digits. Strengthening the foot overall helps you build up your weakened foot muscles so you toe stays more balanced. If your pain is persistent, you may still need anti-inflammatory medications.

Surgery for Success

Sometimes, however, hammertoe surgery is your best option for recovery. If your foot is not responding to noninvasive therapies, you may need a procedure to repair the damage. Modern surgeries have come a long way with advances in medical technology, making them safer than ever. The procedure can also be done in multiple ways. Which technique is used will depend on your lifestyle, your health, and on how rigid and deformed your toe has become. Our team will discuss all your options with you and help you decide which procedure will most benefit your foot.

Sometimes parts of the toe bones need to be cut away. This helps with any damaged bone or arthritis that may be keeping the toe rigid. Sometimes the tendons are released, or even moved, so they aren’t bending the toe inward. The tissue is clipped and either attached in a new place to help balance the toe, or only partially cut so that the tissue lengthens and doesn’t pull so strongly on the digit. If the damage to the toe is more severe, the affected joint may need to be fused. That way, the bent digit will be permanently restored to its correct position.

Whether you have a procedure to fix your digit or you decide to stick to hammertoe treatment without surgery, managing your condition promptly is the key to restoring your foot. The longer you wait to deal with your discomfort, the more difficult it will become to restore your lower limbs to full health.

Don’t let fear of hammertoe surgery keep you from seeking the remedy you need. Contact our expert team here at Dallas Podiatry Works for more information or make an appointment to take care of your feet. You can send us a request through our online contact page or call either of our two offices to reach us: (972) 566-7474 for our Dallas location; (972) 943-3323 for our Plano office.

"I did 3 EPAT treatments and it gave me tremendous relief from my plantar fasciitis. I highly recommend this for anyone who is dealing with PF. Also, the physical therapist Dr. Brook sent me too is fantastic. I am definitely on the mend and so glad I did EPAT."- All H. 5 star
"Dr Northcutt is a fantastic physician. My first surgery with him (although painful), went very well. A couple of issues (with his staff) needed to be corrected, I appreciated his calm and professional demeanor and he corrected those issues promptly. He sets the bar high (the mark of a great physician), and that is the key reason why I'm coming back to him to correct my other foot. I would highly recommend him."- She B. 5 star
"The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of care."- Joseph B. 5 star
"My experience was a good one from pre-op to post -op. I saw the doctor right before my surgery.He explained the process to me and my husband. The recovery nurse was great. It was neither crowded or chaotic as some day surgery centers. My foot is doing well as I follow instructions. I look forward to my one week progress visit!"- Patricia T.5 star
"I had dealt with a painful foot problem for five months and had seen three different Doctors before seeing an article in D Magazine about Dr. Joel Brook. Dr. Brook took one look at my foot, explained the causes for my pain and set me up on a successful treatment plan. He is very knowledgeable, thorough and exhibits a caring attitude. I highly recommend him."- Ginger W. 5 star
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Join the 50,000 happy feet that have found relief at Dallas Podiatry Works! Our Dallas podiatrist and Plano podiatrist provides 5-star-rated foot care and ankle care. Our advanced foot care includes children's foot care, sports-related foot injuries, bunion treatment, bunion removal surgery, toenail fungus treatment, ingrown toenail treatment, hammertoe treatment, claw toe treatment, neuroma treatment, heel pain relief, limb salvage, wound care, arthritis treatment, safe pedicure, medicures, corn removals, callus removals, wart removals and more.
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