When a toe affected with hammertoe becomes significantly bent to the point that corns are developing on the top from rubbing on your shoes, the pain can become unbearable. If your hammertoes have progressed to this point, you should consult with your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and discuss the possibility of having surgery to straighten out the toes.
Hammertoes generally occur in two forms: flexible or rigid. Hammertoes usually start out flexible and they are easier to mobilize at this early stage. As they become more rigid, the type of surgery will be different.
The two basic types of hammertoe surgery are:
- Fusion surgery—In fusion surgery, the rigid joint that is badly bent is removed and the bones are fused together in a straightened out position, often requiring the use of metal pins or other hardware. The ligaments and tendons that provide the toe with muscle movement are also adjusted to achieve the optimum result. In the case of flexible hammertoes, the relocation of a tendon from the top of the toe to the bottom of the toe can help achieve the correct alignment.
- Joint resection—This type of surgery is utilized mostly for inflexible hammertoes and involves excising the end of the affected joint. Hardware and screws are used to keep it in the correct position.
Hammertoe surgery can usually be done on an outpatient basis and after the initial healing process physical therapy exercises will be needed to increase strength and flexibility.
If you have badly bent hammertoes that may need surgery, contact your foot care professional. Call Syracuse Podiatry, located in East Syracuse, New York. Podiatrists Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Payel Ghosh and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.