Mallet toe is like a hammertoe but it’s stuck in an elevated position.
It’s most commonly connected to the big toe joint because the big toe only has one joint in the toe itself, so if the toe contracts it’s usually sticking up like a mallet and the end of the toe becomes pulled down.
Mallet toe is a type of toe deformity where the ends of the toe is contracted. Most toes excluding the big toe have two joints.
So if the joint closest to the end of the toe is the only joint contracted, you’ll get what we call a mallet toe because only the tip of the toe will be curled. In that case, that can be repaired an in-office percutaneous procedure under local anesthesia.
How do you fix mallet toes?
We can do a percutaneous procedure in-office under local anesthesia.
Sometimes we have to remove the joint which is more of a hospital or surgery center procedure where we loosen the joint and relax the tissue around that.
Sometimes we have to pin the toe if it’s a rigid mallet toe and that requires a surgical procedure in a hospital or surgery center and can either be done by placing an implant in the joint or percutaneous pinning of the toe to hold it straight for a period of time.
How do you treat a mallet toe?
You can attempt to treat mallet toe by wearing wider and more supportive type shoes to prevent the toe from rubbing at the top of the shoe.
If that doesn’t help and the symptoms and the pain are life adjusting in a significant way then we can repair it surgically.
There is in-office percutaneous minimally invasive where you can see the scar procedure under local anesthesia.
There are more significant procedures like releasing the joint in the surgery setting operating room or surgery center.
And certainly, we can opt to fuse the joint if necessary.
How can I straighten my toes?
You can do it by strapping, taping, if they’re flexible enough – over time, bracing can help to keep that relaxed position in a more straight alignment aspect.
If this type of procedure doesn’t work, surgical intervention by releasing the tendons around the toes and relaxing those tendons and possibly manipulating the joints surgically are procedures that we can use.
75% of plantar fasciitis get betting with the proper treatment and care from a good podiatrist. Icing, stretching, wearing orthotics, those are things that you can do to help with plantar fasciitis. As mentioned, 3 out of 4 cases of plantar fasciitis get better with time.
The other 25% may require bracing at a higher level wearing a cast and/or surgery. For surgery, we can release or make partial cuts in the tendons, that can help. It’s usually releasing the tendons has shown significant efficacy with the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Claw toe is treated in the same manner as hammertoe. It’s a concentration on both joints as opposed to one joint in the toe. If the claw toe is flexible, then we can attempt to do taping and/or strapping. If it’s flexible and doesn’t respond to the taping, then apply a percutaneous in-office procedure. Most of the time with claw toe it requires manipulation of the tendon around both joints and that’s done in a surgery center or operating room under sedation.
Heel spurs don’t necessarily always require surgery. They can be …
Heel spurs are usually a result of the same thing that causes plantar fasciitis. It’s the pull of the ligament away from the bone that causes a reaction of the bone in that area and so you get a spur. Usually the spur is not what is causing the pain, it’s the fibers of the plantar fascia that are causing the pain with inflammation around the fibers.
There have been studies that have shown that people have had surgery only on the spurs and they still had pain because of the strain on the plantar fascia. And not vice versa where people have had surgery on the plantar fascia and their pain has been reduced at a statically significant level. The spur is more of a sequelae and an appearance on an x-ray showing a reaction of the bone.
However, heel spurs sometimes have to be taken out because of the direction in which they grow. If the heel spur is growing in a downward position, then it can be something that causes pain when the patient stands.