Hammertoes are a potentially painful condition that can cause the large toes to bend at the middle joint in an abnormal manner and become rigid if they are not treated early on. Many understand that this condition is usually caused by improper footwear; however, most do not realize that it can also be caused by a stroke, which can cause significant disruptions to bodily functions and damage thereafter. Strokes can cause nerve and muscle damage that may impact the feet, specifically by causing toes to bend sporadically.
Hammertoes occur due to a muscle and ligament disparity at the joint of the toe, causing them to become stuck in that position. While flexible hammertoes have slight movement capabilities, rigid hammertoes are more or less stuck in the bent position and can barely produce any movement at the joint.
Treatment for this condition includes:
- Physical therapy after a stroke to assist the body with retraining itself to manipulate the foot muscles. This can help with bending a hammertoe and regaining muscle strength to allow for the toes to bend in a manner that can prevent this condition from becoming worse. Hammertoes should be treated early enough rather than later in their development to ensure the best results from this therapy.
- Surgical procedures may be required if the hammertoe has become fixed in the bent position and requires manual readjusting to remove the deformity for the long-term. The injured toes will need to be stabilized subsequently to allow for complete healing.
This condition is painful and irritating enough for the average person. Yet, suffering from hammertoes due to strokes is a painful situation that must be treated with care. At Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM located in Chicago, Illinois, our foot doctor, Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, has a proven track record of assisting patients with hammertoes and can provide meaningful treatment to get your toes straightened out! Please make an appointment by calling our office at (773) 561-8100 and check out our Patient Education Library for additional information about foot and ankle conditions.