Surgical Correction for Painful Hammer Toe
With hammer toe, your second toe, and often the third and fourth toes, are misshapen. Rather than lying flat, they bend at the middle joint. The resulting shape is similar to a hammer. The painful condition can be congenital (present at birth), the result of genetics and your foot structure. Or, it may develop over time, usually the result of wearing shoes that are too short, too narrow or too pointed.
Hammer toe symptoms
Muscles in a hammer toe become rigid over time. You may have corns or calluses on the top of the middle joint or the tip of the toe. You may also feel pain when wearing shoes and walking.
Hammer toe treatment
If you can still bend your toe or toes, nonsurgical treatment options may include:
- Pads or straps to move and hold the toe in proper position
- Wearing shoes with ample room for toes
You may require surgery if nonsurgical methods fail to correct hammer toe.
What to expect from hammer toe surgery
Expert foot doctors at Franciscan Health will determine whether surgery is necessary and discuss the options with you. Depending on your condition, surgery may include:
- Removing affected pieces of the toe bones
- Cutting or transplanting the tendons and ligaments connecting the toe bones and muscles
- Fusing the joint to straighten the toe, which makes it unable to bend
How long is hammer toe surgery recovery?
Full recovery from hammer toe surgery may take up to three months, depending on your condition. You may have surgical pins or wires holding the toe bones in place while they heal. You may need to wear an orthotic shoe that redirects your weight to your heel to protect your foot and keep it stable during the recovery period. Driving may be restricted if surgery was on your right foot.