A Quick Look At The Surgical Options For Your Hammer Toe

Posted on: 6 September 2017

A hammer toe is a condition where a middle toe becomes bent. This causes pain and can make wearing shoes difficult. There are treatments for hammer toe such as stretching your shoes to provide room for the deformed toe, wearing cushioning pads, and getting custom orthotics. When these treatments don't help the pain or if the hammer toe interferes with walking or wearing shoes, then your podiatrist may recommend surgery. Here's a look at different the hammer toe surgeries you could have:

Flexible Hammer Toe Surgery

If you can still flex your toe, then your doctor may be able to repair your hammer toe with tendon surgery. This involves moving a tendon from the lower portion of your toe to the upper portion. When the tendon is in place, it helps pull your toe back into a normal position. This surgery won't work if you can no longer bend your toe. In that case, a surgery must be done on the bones in your toes rather than the tendons.

Joint Resection

When your hammer toe is locked in place, it may be necessary to remove part of the joint in your toe. By removing these bones, your toe can be placed in a straight position. It is held in place with pins or screws while the surgery heals. After a few weeks, the pins are removed and your toe retains its new straight form.

Bone Fusion

This surgery is similar to a joint resection except, in this case, your entire joint is removed. The bones on each end are then pinned together so they can fuse. This straightens your toe to eliminate the painful bend at the joint. However, without a joint, you won't be able to bend your toe after the surgery.

Bunion Surgery Combination

It's common to have a bunion in your big toe and hammer toe in your second toe at the same time. Your doctor may recommend surgery to repair both conditions during one procedure. A bunion can also be corrected with a joint resection or fusion. However, with your big toe also affected during the surgery, you may not be able to walk right away and your recovery may be longer.

Hammer toe surgeries are usually done as an outpatient. You may be given a general anesthetic or you may just have your foot numbed and be given a sedative to help you relax. Recovery from surgery takes a few weeks depending on the type of surgery you have. You might be able to walk right away as long as you wear a surgical shoe, but you'll need to limit your activities until your bones have had a chance to heal.

Contact a medical office like Collier Podiatry PA for more information and assistance.