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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hammertoes: Help with Toe Crests



     What is being demonstrated is a small toe crest for pain at the tip of a crooked hammertoe. They come in left and right with the thickest part under the toe closest to the big toe. Here Albert's pain is on the end of his fourth toe. The elastic band should be relatively loose around the 4th toe filling in the under surface of the toe area called the "sulcus". To keep the elastic band on loosely, a piece of scotch or paper tape attaching the band to the skin on the top of the foot can hold the elastic band in place. It should never feel like it is cutting off the circulation, or that the toe is throbbing. You can tell by the photos that it was perhaps too tight on Albert by the indentation it left on his skin.

Here you can see the toe crest attached to the base of Albert's toe. His sore is at the tip of the 4th toe so the material lifts the tip off the ground slightly relieving the pressure. Due to Albert's foot size, I could also have used a medium and placed the band over the 3rd toe. You just try to get some bulk of the material under the effected toe. Toe crests are "necessary evils" (one of my favorite sayings especially about casts) since they do not straighten hammertoes, but probably if worn for awhile, make the hammertoe curl more. Another product I use is a foam toe cap designed initially for ballet dancers. It is more bulky than a toe crest, but does protect the toe, and produce a straightening effect on the toe. It is always a trade off with these various inserts. I have not found patients to like the gel version of these toe crests. Toe crests can be modified simply if they irritate you in a spot by cutting out an area and putting a small piece of tape over the area. Believe me, they do not bleed when you cut into them.

I am a San Francisco Podiatrist and love my San Francisco Giants. If any fans are reading this and have not seen the incredible video by Ashkon, I know you will enjoy. Thank you Ashkon. I am a fan!!

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.