About Hammertoe Deformity
Hammertoe is a permanent deformity of one of your toes — most often the big toe’s neighbor — in which the toe joints have become bent up and twisted. This condition is often painful and aesthetically unattractive and even embarrassing.
If the hammertoe is flexible, one that can be forced to lie flat with manual pressure, it can be corrected with minor surgery.
When the hammertoe is rigid, arthroplasty is required. This is performed under local anesthesia where a tiny portion of bone is removed, and will permanently eliminate the pain and deformity. You can walk out of the surgery in a surgical shoe.
Sometimes the cause of hammertoes is an overly long second and/or third toe(s). Ambulatory surgical correction can be done under local anesthesia. A small piece of bone is removed; this results in the creation of a normal aesthetic toe arc, removal of the deformity, and alleviation of the pain.
Indications that you may need to seek treatment for Hammertoe Deformity:
- Pain or irritation of the affected toe when wearing shoes.
- Corns and calluses (a buildup of skin) on the toe, between two toes, or on the ball of the foot. Corns are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending upon their location.
- Inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation.
- Contracture of the toe.
- In more severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.
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"Dr. Suzanne Levine and her team are the best! I had a bad infection on my toe that looked dreadful. Dr. Levine treated it with a laser that was gentle, quick, and effective. After two treatments, my toe looked 100% better! I would definitely trust them with any foot issues in the future"- Jeffrey Greenstein / Google / Nov 20, 2020
"Dr. Levine and her team are real top professionals in the field of podiatry. I came here because of a misdiagnosed foot problem. Dr Levine identified the issue immediately. Also the office is state of the art and supper efficient!"- Kim Opiatowski / Google / Nov 17, 2020
"Dr. Levine, Dr. Ryan and the team at Institute Beauté provided the best podiatry services and overall healthcare experience I have ever received. From my initial consultation through both of my foot surgeries and follow-ups, I have had every question answered, every treatment clearly and patiently explained to me and am treated like family during every visit. Dr. Levine is at the top of her field and introduced me to innovative procedures that were able to correct foot problems I formerly thought I would struggle with forever. Correcting my foot pain has changed my life and I could not recommend Dr. Levine and her team highly enough."- Rebecca Schlacter / Google / Nov 17, 2020
"I knew from my consultation with Dr. Ryan that I was in great hands at Dr Levine's practice. He answered all my questions, putting any concerns at ease, educating and assuring me on problems and solutions. We were on the same page when I left the office and I felt confident to book the operations. I was treated for multiple ailments including bunions, flat feet, and crooked toes. Within a month, I can feel the difference in my arch and even the way I walk, not to mention how much better they look. The office is aesthetically glamorous, it gives me great vibes, and the girls at the desk are so sweet and accommodating. This is the place to go if you have any concerns about your feet!"- Brittany Beckett / Google / Nov 17, 2020
Hammertoe Deformity FAQ
What causes hammertoe to develop?
The most common causes of hammertoe include:
- A higher than normal foot arch
- Toe injuries
- Wearing shoes that don't fit correctly
- Bunion pressure
- Tight ligaments and tendons
Does hammertoe corrective surgery hurt?
A hammertoe correction surgery is relatively simple and can be performed with local anesthesia, with most patients not experiencing pain or discomfort, although some may feel slight pressure or pulling during the procedure. You are awake during the surgery, but your toe has been completely numbed. You can even walk out of the office in a surgical shoe after your procedure to go home.
How is a hammertoe deformity fixed with surgery?
There are three basic types of surgery to correct a hammertoe deformity. These are:
- Tendon transfer — This procedure is useful for a hammertoe that is still flexible by moving the toe's tendons to correct the toe position. Tendon transfer compensates for muscle weakness, improves the look of the toe, and can help alleviate pain.
- Joint resection — If the hammertoe is rigid, a joint resection is the most common solution. In this surgery, the doctor will cut tendons and ligaments to straighten the toe. Sections of bone may also be removed.
- Fusion — With a fusion procedure, portions of the bone are removed to straighten the toe and reduce pain. The toe will have pins inserted to keep the joint in place and allow the bones to grow together or become fused.
How long is recovery from hammertoe surgery?
Recovery can last between six months to a year. You will have to wear a special shoe and avoid putting your full weight on the treated foot for several weeks. Some people may choose to use a cane or crutches to help them walk if they are experiencing soreness or pain during the recovery process.
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