by Dr. Steven Waldman
Last week’s blog brought up some common problems known as Hammer, Claw, and Mallet toes. If you are a patient suffering from any of these deformities, here are some of the ways we treat them. As with many medical issues, we start with conservative treatment. We can carefully trim your calluses as well as make you specialized padding to minimize your day to day pain. Also, ask our professionals about shoe options that may help give your toes and feet more comfort with your specific deformity. Lastly, most digital deformities are actually caused by the foot and toes trying to compensate for issues closer to the midfoot and ankle. In these cases, orthotics may be beneficial to create a better alignment of your foot and keep the deformity from progressing.
However, there are always cases in which conservative treatment is not enough. If you fall into this category and you are a good surgical candidate, there are many different procedures that can correct for the deformity. First our professionals will determine some things about your specific deformity to make a specialized treatment plan for you. They evaluate whether or not your deformity is soft tissue or boney in nature, or maybe even both! They will also evaluate your entire foot to see if any other deformities are contributing to your digital contracture. These types of questions and more need to be answered before moving forward in treatment and can usually be answered in an office visit along with some x-rays.
With your evaluation in mind, a specialized treatment plan can be created to address and correct the problem. Usually these types of surgical procedures can be completed with a short out-patient surgical procedure that you could go home later that afternoon from. Of course each patient and procedure will require different post-op courses that your surgeon can discuss with you and answer any questions you may have. Overall most of these procedures will require you to take it easy for a few weeks to allow the foot to heel. Be sure to ask your surgeon what will be needed of you following the procedure so that you can be on the fast track to recovery and avoid any complications. Overall, digital deformities can be corrected, and are problems you do not have to live forever with so if your toes are suffering, set up an appointment for an evaluation today!