If you have a hammertoe, you know how excruciating the symptoms can be. To help you find relief, Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center can provide the treatment you need! Schedule an appointment with us today at one of our offices located throughout Greater Columbus!
Visiting an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean that surgery is necessary. Our orthopedic doctors always prefer to use non-surgical procedures to treat injuries.
“Surgery and recovery going as expected. Staff and scheduling are very accommodating. So far so good 👍.” — Korrina D.
A hammertoe is a common foot deformity that typically affects the second, third, and fourth toes. However, you can develop a hammertoe on the first (big toe) and 5th (baby toe) as well. It occurs when the toe’s tendons and ligaments become too tight or too weak, causing the middle joint of the toe to bend upward instead of lying flat.
As a result of this muscle imbalance, the affected toe may rub against other toes or against the inside of the shoe, leading to discomfort. Beyond the pain in patients with diabetes and/or with nerve damage, hammertoes can lead to wounds at the top or tip of the toe, resulting in complications such as hospitalization and amputation.
There are 3 main types of hammertoes. They include the following:
Hammertoe surgery (also known as hammertoe correction) is an outpatient procedure that is used to straighten the toe joint that is stuck in a painful flexed position.
The type of reconstructive surgery that you have will depend on how easily your toe can be straightened during your physical examination. There are several different surgical procedures that your foot and ankle surgeon can choose from to treat your hammertoe, including:
If there are any accompanying deformities of the forefoot, your foot surgeon will review those ahead of time. If conservative care does not provide relief of your symptoms, then the other deformities may need to be addressed at the time of surgery as well.
Hammertoe surgery may be necessary if your body has not responded to the following nonsurgical techniques:
You may be a good candidate for hammer toe surgery if:
You may not be a good candidate for this surgery if you have the following:
You can prepare for hammer toe surgery by:
You can expect not to have any pain during your surgery. There will be some discomfort after surgery, however, this is usually well tolerated as patients have dealt with the pain in the toes for some time before surgery. Depending on the severity of your condition, your surgeon will perform one of the three following surgical procedures:
The hammer toe surgery recovery time will vary from person to person. It is normal to have swelling. Typically, any stitches or temporary pins will be removed a few weeks after surgery. Depending on your procedure, the internal pins or implants may remain in place long-term.
Your doctor will recommend specific exercises for you to perform to help you improve your strength and heal. Post-operation instructions usually include:
If you have a history of hammer toe, there is a possibility that it can develop again. To lower your risk and avoid other possible complications, it is imperative to wear comfortable footwear and follow all the instructions you receive to protect your toe during your recovery. With advancements in surgical techniques, the recurrence rate of hammertoes has significantly decreased.
If you are searching for high-quality treatment in Greater Columbus, OH area, schedule an appointment at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center today! Our specialists are ready to give you the help you’re looking for. Contact us today!
Medically reviewed by Dr. Randall Thomas, DPM, FACFAS