You may think that your hammertoes are not really a health hazard. After all, the shape of your feet does not necessarily affect your ability to walk—and since they are not currently causing you pain, you might be tempted to avoid seeing a Philadelphia podiatrist to treat your condition.
Unfortunately, an untreated case of hammertoes can have serious consequences. Here is how a typical case of hammertoes will progress without treatment:
- You first notice that your toes are beginning to bend upward in the middle and curl down at the ends, forming the common claw-like shape. However, you are able to straighten your toes by keeping them out of your shoes for a day or two.
- The bottom of your affected toes begins to press downward, creating a flattened appearance (mallet toe).
- Your shoes begin to rub against the tops of your curled toes, causing pressure, calluses, and corns.
- Eventually, the muscles in your feet remained tightened constantly, and you are no longer able to flex your toes.
- Your toes are now permanently stiff. They are sometimes painful to walk on, and you have difficulty moving and flexing your feet.
- Your posture and walking style changes, affecting your gait and putting undue pressure on your feet, knees, back, and joints. Your balance may also be affected, putting you at risk for falling.
- Conventional treatments may not reverse an advanced case of hammertoes. At this point, you will likely need surgery to cut the ligaments in your toes, which will allow them to flex again.
At Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates, we can help you defend your feet against the common causes of hammertoes, find a proper solution for your current problem, and prevent the condition from coming back. Call us today at 610-565-3668 in Media or 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville to schedule a consultation.