Blog

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT PROFESSIONAL TO TREAT YOUR HAMMERTOE, CORN, OR LONG TOE.

 

A 7 step guide to help you get there.

 

RESEARCH YOUR HAMMERTOE/CORN/LONG TOE PROBLEM YOURSELF.

 

The more you know about your particular toe problem—researching definitions, anatomy, functions of normal toes, causes, symptoms, self treatment, and professional options the better you will be prepared for the next action. Take advantage of the data presented here on this website and compare it to data found on a web search. Spending 30 minutes to an hour on this step will form a good working knowledge base that will be invaluable for all the rest of the steps.

 

MAKE A LIST OF YOUR OWN WISHES CONCERNING YOUR TOE PROBLEM

 

Do not limit yourself here and do not let preconceived ideas influence you. Write down what you would dream to be the best process and result for your toe problem.

 

For example do you wish:

  • to wear those 6”heels or any shoes that you want pain free
  • have a normal looking toe that looks natural along with your other toes
  • have invisible scars that make it impossible for anybody to tell you have had toe surgery
  • to be able to dance, workout, take long walks without discomfort
  • to have the procedure on a no downtime basis, walk in walk out, no time off of work
  • to exercise at the gym that same day of procedure (no workout interruptions)
  • be totally comfortable showing your toes on the beach, dinner parties, getting pedicures, and with your significant other.
  • to be able to wear sandals without embarrassment
  • have toes that still move naturally after treatment
  • have any corns or other unsightly pigmentations completely eliminated
  • to not have to wear cumbersome straps, orthotics, pads, - to not have to have pins, screws, or other implants in the toe
  • to not have to go to a hospital or surgery center and risk exposure to infectious diseases
  • to have an experienced doctor that has chosen my problem to be his passion where he spends 100% of his professional time treating only toe problems

 

DECIDE ON WHICH “TYPE” OF PROFESSIONAL WOULD GIVE YOU THE BEST POTENTIAL TO REALIZE THOSE WISHES.

 

Refer to the section on Overview of Professional treatments in the Treatment of Hammertoe Article. For example if you feel that your toe probably needs to be straightened surgically, then obviously you would rule out all MD’s except for orthopedic surgeons, and you would also eliminate Pedorthists, Chiropractors and Pedicurists. On the other hand Podiatrist would probably top your list.

 

NARROW THE SEARCH BY FINDING A SUB SPECIALIST WITHIN THAT GROUP OF PROFESSIONALS

 

Now that you have found what type of specialist would probably be best for your toe problem you need to find one. At this point you may notice wide ranging and often conflicting treatment opinions and philosophies among the practitioners you are researching. SO here is what you do:

 

  • Only consider professionals that have a website and on that website they state that they specifically treat your type of toe problem.
  • Find on their site a statement on their “Goals of treatment”. Compare their stated goals with your list of wishes and decide which professional seems to offer you the best chance to get all your wishes met.
  • Look for proof of results like before and after photos (should be a lot of them not just one example) , testimonials from actual patients both written and filmed.
  • Evaluate other technical content on the site as how it relates to your possible treatments—does it feel like this is the right place?

 

FIND YOUR BEST CANDIDATE THEN

 

Call that office and try to get more info out of the staff there on what type of conditions the practitioner usually treats there. Continue questioning until you have a good feel for that office and how well they have answered your questions. Using your knowledge of all the prior sections will help you formulate better and smarter questions that can give you good working impression of that practitioner’s abilities and experiences with respect to you getting effective and satisfying treatment for your toe problem. Keep doing this process with a list of offices until you feel you found the best one.

 

IF THAT GOES WELL TRY TO GET A FACE TO FACE APPOINTMENT WITH THAT DOCTOR FOR A REASONABLE FEE.

 

Try to negotiate a meeting fee with that doctor something in the range of $50- $100. The purpose would be for you to get a feel of how you relate to that doctor and then after a problem focused physical examination of your toe you should be able to get at least a proposed treatment plan for your toe. Generally speaking, you can save some expense by questioning the value of getting additional tests like x rays, gait analysis, and routine lab tests at this point (especially with high deductibles and co pays these days).

 

AFTER GETTING A PROPOSED TREATMENT PLAN THEN EXPLORE FURTHER BY GETTING ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING 7 QUESTIONS:

 

What are the causes of my hammertoe, corn, long toe problem?

tip—be familiar with the causes section of each condition on this website.

 

What are my symptoms and how have they affected me and my lifestyle?

tip— read over “Symptoms” section to understand your own symptoms and then seek further clarity with your doctor.

 

What are the long and short term expected benefits and risks of the recommended treatment options?

tip—Engage your doctor with clear questions on this and then consider how satisfying are the answers?

 

What are the other possible treatments and why are they not recommended for me?

tip— this line of fact finding can help broaden your understanding of your problem and/or help reveal any treatment biases by the doctor or the health system he/her is contracted with? (* see below section on this)

 

Where is the best setting (professional environment) for this treatment to be rendered?

tip—your options could range from doctor and specialists offices, surgery centers,hospitals, ER’s, immediate care facilities, physician, corporate or government run medical facilities. An example would be if you were considering toe surgery and you are in good health, ask yourself is it best for you to have that procedure in a 1-General purpose hospital (sick people there) or in an 2- Ambulatory toe surgical facility (walk in-walk out)?

 

What are the costs of the recommended treatment measured in downtime, restrictions in lifestyle, and financial outlays?

tip—Costs related to downtime and restrictions on lifestyle are usually easy to get and tend to be very clear and concise. Getting estimates on financial outlays tend to be much more complicated so consider the following: a. is there a very trained and experienced insurance specialist at that office that can give you reliable answers —in writing— on the above?

 

Why are you (the doctor) the best person to treat my hammertoe, corn, or long toe?

tip—Does this professional possess specialized knowledge or skills that is particularly valuable for reaching your desired result? Ask for before and after photos, how many procedures do they do in a typical day, testimonials from their patients, years of experience in practice. Does the doctor sound interested in you and your problem, and willing to spend a bit of time providing you with answers to all your questions.? Do the answers to your questions make perfect sense to you?

 

I hope this guide helps you find the best, most effective and satisfying treatments for your toes.

 


Larry A Keyes DPMDr. Larry Keyes is a podiatrist in Oak Park, IL. Since 1998, he's been changing his patients' lives after perfecting a safe, simple and zero-downtime solution to correcting hammertoes, the removal of corns and prevention of keloids.

1023 Madison Street, Oak Park, IL 60302
708-771-4300

Click to Call