Southern Oregon Podiatrists Answer Your Top Questions About Foot and Ankle Pain
Stop questioning your foot and ankle pain. Start getting answers! Read our FAQ articles for tips from our Southern Oregon podiatrists to help you feel better and get healthy.
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How can hammertoes be treated?
Hammertoe (and the related claw or mallet toe condition) is a toe deformity that develops in response to muscular imbalances in the toe. There are various potential causes of these conditions, but they are all progressive in nature, which means they will worsen over time when left untreated.
Hammertoe treatment depends on the degree to which the affected toe is still flexible. In cases that are caught early, where the toe is flexible, treatment may be centered on a change in footwear or the use of pads or orthotic devices. Various foot exercises, like crumpling a towel or picking up marbles with your toes, may provide some benefit.
When conservative care methods do not provide the desired results, we may recommend a surgical procedure to release a tendon responsible for preventing the toe from lying flat. Depending on the case, we may straighten the toe by removing a piece of bone.
For additional information on hammertoes, contact Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C. You can give our Medford, OR office a call at (541) 776-3338 or schedule an appointment with us online today.
What is the difference between hammertoes and mallet toes?
Hammertoes and mallet toes are conditions that have a lot in common, but they are separate disorders and affect slightly different areas. Both are common problems that affect joints in the smaller toes—especially the second digit, next to the big toe. They both cause the joints they affect to bend and stiffen. They are also both affected by your footwear choices and foot mechanics: shoes that squeeze your toes or an existing problem that puts unnatural pressure on your toes can induce either issue. The difference is the joint that each affects. A hammertoe affects the middle joint, while mallet toe bends the one closest to the nail.
Fortunately, both hammertoe and mallet toe can be easily managed with conservative treatments. Shoe changes and exercises that stretch out and strengthen the toes can reduce the pain and straighten the affected areas. Sometimes orthotics can also help. If you’re experiencing pain or trouble in your toes, don’t wait and allow them to stiffen to the point that you need more involved treatment to deal with the problem. Instead contact Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C. for an appointment or more information by calling (541) 776-3338.
Can I still run with sesamoiditis?
Sesamoiditis, the inflammation of the tendons surrounding the sesamoid bones, is commonly associated with pain beneath the big toe, swelling of the area, and difficulty or pain when moving the big toe. Many patients often wonder if it’s possible for them to continue rigorous exercise, like running, with this foot condition.
As the sesamoids act as pulleys for the majority of movement within the foot, any recurring motion or pressure to the feet tends to impact them negatively. Running, as well as any other high impact activities, should be avoided until the sesamoiditis has been eliminated. In place of these activities, many patients often choose to take up cycling or swimming as it allows for the feet to recover more easily.
This foot condition can often be remedied by rest, icing, and the use of orthotics. In some extreme cases the sesamoids can be removed to eliminate pain, but this is an irreversible surgery that can lead to other biomechanical issues.
Dr. Evan Merrill can help you find the treatment that’s best suited for you. Our Medford, OR office can be reached at (541) 776-3338 or appointments can also be scheduled online.
Why does my toe hurt?
The sesamoid bones are tiny, pea-sized bones that are embedded in the tendon beneath the big toe joint. They provide a smooth surface so the toe moves easily and they alsohelp distribute weight across the ball of the foot. If you have toe pain that also radiates into the ball of the foot, it is possible you have an injury called sesamoiditis. The tissues surrounding these bones may have become irritated or inflamed or the bones may have even fractured. This can happen if you are a runner, dancer, baseball catcher, tennis player,or have increasedthe frequency and intensity of your activities too quickly.
Pain in your toe could also result from a bruise, an ingrown toenail, stubbing your toe, or a number of other conditions. Be proactive and find out the source of your discomfort so we can treat the problem accurately and get you back to living without pain. Call Dr. Evan Merrill at (541) 776-3338 or request an appointment online.