Hammertoes and bunions are more common among women than men due to a woman's tendency to wear tight, narrow shoes and/or too high of a heel.
Characterized by a bending of one or both joints of any but the big toe, hammertoe is a common podiatric issue. This condition causes difficulties wearing shoes, which often exacerbate the problem. If you suffer from hammertoes, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
Corns between toes or on the top, side or end of the toes. Corns are a buildup of skin caused by friction at the contact point between the toe and shoe.
Calluses on the bottom of toes or on the ball of the foot. Calluses are rough, dry patches of dead skin that has built up.
Pain or irritation when the toes come into contact with the shoe.
Blisters and/or open sores caused from friction. Especially dangerous for diabetics who are at risk for ulcerations which can take several weeks, months and even years to heal.
Hammertoes and their symptoms generally worsen over time, as the friction between the foot and footwear becomes more severe. If left untreated, they can become rigid and open sores may form. If you are suffering from this condition, it is important to seek help sooner rather than later as they will not heal without treatment of some kind. Treatment options include changing footwear, padding the corns and calluses that form, trimming the corns and calluses, custom orthotic footwear or devices, anti-inflammatory medications and splinting the affected toe. Surgery is recommended in some severe cases. Contact us today to discuss your hammertoe problem and we will begin finding a viable treatment option right away.
Although Dr. Cain generally exhausts all non-invasive treatments prior to surgical intervention, sometimes the surgical repair of a hammertoe is necessary for the patients comfort and health. Depending on the severity, a minor hammertoe procedure can be done in the office in a sterile environment. In other cases, the patient may need to be scheduled for surgery at the hospital. Up until recently Dr. Cain has performed a surgery which involved insertion of pins or "k-wires" to keep the bones in place during the healing process. This left the patient with these pins pertruding from the tip of the toe for about 4-6 weeks following the surgery. This could be very unpleasant for the patient. Due to the wire, patients are unable to work, drive, bathe normally and often experience discomfort during sleep. In addition, the wire increases the likelihood of infection and its instability often results in reoccurrence.
A treatment breakthrough called nextrasesis is now available and offered to the patients of Dr. Rusty Cain. The Nextra Hammertoe Correction System is an implant that does not require insertion of a wire. Patients can return to work and normal activities, bathe more regularly and sleep more peacefully without pins protruding out the end of their toes. In addition, the risk of pin infection is eliminated and the chances of a hammertoe reoccurring is greatly diminished when bone healing occurs.
Photo and X-ray images of K-wire fixation
With k-wire fixation the patient would return for their 6-week post-op visit expecting to have both pins and sutures removed.
Above is a patient a patient 6-weeks post-operative after receiving nextradesis.
Image of an x-ray after nextradesis.