The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are almost underway in Rio, and millions of fans worldwide will be tuning in to watch athletes from their nations compete against other elite athletes. There are several sports which are quite popular, but track and field has one of the biggest stages. The “field” part consists of events like shot put, javelin throw, and hammer throw. In spite of the name, the “hammer” being thrown might not be what you’d expect. (At least, not after 1887. Before then, they actually did throw sledgehammers!)
An Olympic hammer might not look much like a sledge hammer, but a muscular imbalance in a toe can cause it to resemble this tool. When this happens, you will need hammertoe treatment to relieve symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening.
As might be expected, treatment for a hammertoe depends on the severity of the condition. If your toe is still flexible, we may simply recommend you switch to footwear that is roomier and more comfortable. We might also have you wear shoe inserts, pads, or possibly even custom orthotics. Shoe inserts and pads can help by repositioning your toe and thereby relieving any pressure and pain.
In addition, we might recommend certain exercises — such as crumpling a towel with your toes or picking up marbles — to strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. This will not be able to reverse any existing damage, but it could keep the toes flexible and strong and prevent the condition from progressing further.
When conservative treatments do not provide enough relief, we may recommend a surgical procedure to release the tight tendon keeping your toe from lying flat. Depending on the situation, we might also remove a piece of bone to help straighten out the affected toe.
As is always the case, we will attempt nonsurgical treatment methods first, in the hopes they are able to produce the desired results. When this does not work, you can still take comfort in the fact that we have the right personnel on hand to perform the successful surgery you need.
Call Advanced Foot and Ankle today for more information on hammertoe treatment, or any of the other services we provide to our patients, by dialing (208) 731-6321. If you know you need to come and see us for treatment, you can schedule your appointment at the same time, or request one online right now for either our Twin Falls or Burley, ID offices.