Hammertoe is a painful foot deformity that affects the muscles and tendons in the toes and causes them bend in a position that resembles a hammer. Not only does this condition cause pain, it makes it difficult to wear shoes and participate in daily activities. When this happens, corrective surgery for hammertoe may be your best bet to getting back on the right foot.
Below, our Tarrant County podiatrist discusses surgical options for a hammertoe and what your recovery from corrective surgery should look like.
Corrective Surgery for a Hammertoe
Hammertoes can either be flexible or rigid. With a flexible hammertoe, the toes can still move. When a hammertoe is rigid, the toes cannot be moved and are fixed in a bent position.
Conservative treatments for hammertoe include wearing specialized shoes, custom orthotics, or physical therapy. When conservative treatments are not effective in providing relief, foot surgery by an experienced Tarrant County podiatrist is often recommended to correct the condition.
Corrective surgery for hammertoe is done as a minimally invasive outpatient procedure with a tiny incision in the foot. The type of surgery performed depends on your type of hammertoe, but the most common methods for hammertoe correction are:
- Tendon release
- Tendon lengthening
- Joint fusion
- Removal of a small bone in the joint
Depending on the type of corrective surgery performed, pins or screws may be used to hold the ends of the bones together or to hold the tendons in place as they heal. After the procedure is completed, stitches may be used to close the incision. A dressing will be placed over the site of the incision.
The Recovery Process for Corrective Surgery
Since hammertoe corrective surgery is done as a minimally invasive procedure, you are usually able to go home the same day. Your Tarrant County podiatrist will give you specific instructions to follow as your recover. You may be advised to:
- Rest and keep your foot elevated after surgery
- Take an over-the-counter pain medication and use ice to help reduce pain and swelling
- Wear a post-operative shoe with a hard sole to protect your toe as it heals
- Use crutches to take pressure off the toe—some patients may be able to bear weight on the foot
- Avoid driving if surgery was performed on your right foot
- Keep your foot dry if pins or screws were used and the incision was stitched closed
- Schedule a follow-up appointment to remove any pins and screws if they were used in surgery
- Do stretching exercises to help with flexibility and motion.
If you notice any unusual symptoms such as bleeding, increased pain or swelling, discharge, or redness around the surgical incision, contact your podiatrist immediately.
Contact Our Tarrant County Podiatrist for an Evaluation Today!
If you have hammertoe and are considering surgery, contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for an evaluation. To schedule an appointment in our Grapevine or Keller office with our skilled Tarrant County podiatrist, fill out our online contact form, or call us today.