What is Hammertoe Correction?

Hammertoe is a surgical procedure to repair a foot deformity. This deformity takes place when there is a decrease of the tendon that controls toe movement, affecting the middle joint of the toe to be twisted upward and the distal joint downwards. The deformed toe bears a resemblance to a hammer.

Effects of Hammertoe Correction

Surgical treatment of hammertoe deformity offers very dependable deformity correction and pain relief. Recurrence is infrequent.

Candidates for Hammertoe Correction

Ideal candidates for this procedure are those who are experiencing debilitating pain from hammertoe deformity, especially when non-operative treatment is not sufficient.

Your Consultation

Before the procedure, the doctor will perform a physical examination and X-rays of joint. On the day of the procedure, arrange a ride to and from the hospital, plan for assistance at home after the procedure, and wear comfortable.

The Hammertoe Correction Procedure

There are two general means of hammertoe correction: joint arthroplasty and joint fusion. The kind of treatment depends on the severity of the deformity.

For both methods, the doctor creates an incision on the toe. In the course of an arthroplasty, the major part of the middle joint in the toe is removed, which lets the toe uncurl. One or more bones, or a part of the bone, may be taken out as well. Throughout a fusion, the bones are repositioned after ends of the bone at the joint are resected and the bones are put together. The repositioning is typically held together with a pin located within the bone, and this pin will be removed after 3 to 4 weeks. Other changes to the anatomy of the foot as a result of the hammertoe may also be corrected at this time.

The doctor closes the incision with stitches. These stitches will be removed in approximately two weeks, and the doctor will apply another dressing to keep the toe(s) in proper position. Dressings may be reapplied as swelling subsides, and can usually be completely removed after a total of four weeks. If it appears that the deformity may persist, your doctor may prefer to carry on with dressings for another 2 to 4 weeks.

For people under age 30 who have a slight deformity, a corrective procedure involving soft tissue but no alteration to the joint or bones may be performed.

Recovery

Through the first couple of days, rest in bed with your foot lifted up and maintain it at an elevated level while resting. Refrain from standing and walking, and stay off your foot as much as possible. Make use of crutches or wear a special open-toed, wooden-soled shoe, as recommended by your doctor.

The repaired toe may be somewhat longer or shorter than before surgery (depending upon what has been taken out), and will not move as much as a normal toe. Anticipate a little swelling and redness, which may continue for several months. Choose shoes with ample of space for your toes. Poorly-fitting shoes may be a factor to hammertoe development.

Risks

Aside from anesthesia-related problems, other possible complications include infection, extreme swelling or bleeding, and reappearance of hammertoe.

FAQs

What is a hammertoe correction?

Hammertoe correction is a surgical procedure to mend a foot deformity. This deformity happens when there is a shortening of the tendon that manages toe movement, producing the middle joint of the toe to be bent upward and the distal joint downwards. The misshapen toe looks like a hammer.

What are the reasons for getting this procedure?

This procedure is needed if the malformed toe has begun to have an awkward position and is bringing pain. The deformity can make walking difficult, and the position of toe can affect breakdown of skin, which can escalate the risk of getting a bone infection (osteomyelitis).

What happens during a hammertoe procedure?

After the administration of anesthesia, a tourniquet is applied above the ankle to control the surgical area from bleeding. An incision is created through the skin. The tendons that connect to the toes are located, cut free of connective tissue to foot bones, and divided so they no longer bend downward. The middle joints of the affected toes are linked together permanently via fine pins and wire sutures. The skin is closed with fine sutures, which typically can be taken out about 7 to 10 days after surgery. The tourniquet is then removed.

What is the probable outcome of this procedure?

Anticipate total healing without complications. It will take about 4 weeks to recover from surgery.