I'm a professional and
|0 people have tried Hammer Toe Correction||0 people have prescribed Hammer Toe Correction|
A hammer toe correction is done to correct a foot deformity called a hammer toe .
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor will likely do the following:
- Physical exam
- X-rays of joint
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
The day of the procedure:
- Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
- Arrange for help at home after the procedure.
- Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to remove.
Local anesthesia is often used. It will numb the area. Spinal anesthesia may also be used. This anesthesia will make your lower body numb.
Description of the Procedure
Several surgical options are available for hammer toe correction. Some corrections can be made with changes to soft tissue (eg, tendons); others need to be made to the bone.
This is usually best in patients under 30, with limited toe deformity. A cut is made in the skin and the tendon is released. Sometimes it is reattached to a different area of the bone. The changes in soft tissue will allow the toe to relax and eliminate the deformity.
Two common methods of hammer toe correction on the bones themselves are joint arthroplasty and joint fusion. The type of procedure used depends on how bad the deformity is. A combination of procedures may be needed. In both cases, a cut in the skin is made over the toe joint.
During an arthroplasty, part of the bones on both sides of the middle toe joint may be removed. This will allow the toe to uncurl.
During a fusion, the ends of the toe bones are removed. The bones are then repositioned. The repositioning is usually held together with a pin placed within the bone. The pin may be removed after 3-4 weeks. Other changes to the anatomy of the foot due to the hammer toe may also be corrected at this time.
In any method, the doctor may close the incision with stitches. Dressings will be applied to hold the toe(s) in proper position.
How Long Will It Take?
This depends on the procedure and the number of toes corrected.
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during the surgery. Your doctor will give you medicine to manage pain after the surgery.
- During the first couple of days, keep your foot elevated most of the time.
- Limit standing and walking, and stay off your foot as much as possible.
- Use crutches or wear a special open-toed, wooden-soled shoe, as directed by your doctor .
The corrected toe may be slightly longer or shorter than before surgery. The toe will not move as much as a normal toe. Expect some swelling and redness, which may persist for several months. Your dressing may need to be adjusted as swelling decreases. If it appears that the deformity may recur, your doctor may choose to continue with dressings for another 2-4 weeks.
Select shoes with plenty of space for your toes. Poorly fitting shoes contribute to hammer toe development.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Calgary Foot Clinic
Nurses Entrepreneurial Foot Care Association of Canada
Podiatrists in Canada
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:
Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 9th ed. Mosby-Year Book; 1998.
Murphy GA. Canale:
Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 10th ed. Philadelphia; Mosby, Inc; 2003.