A hammer toe repair is a surgical procedure for a misshapen toe. When you have a hammer toe, the middle joint of the toe bends up in a way that makes the toe look like it is forming an upside-down V or the head of a hammer. The bent joint may rub the top of your shoe. Hammer toes can develop on any toe, but they usually happen in the second toe.
What Happens During the Procedure?
You will be given local or regional anesthesia to keep you from feeling pain during the procedure. Local and regional anesthesia numbs part of your body while you stay awake. The type of surgery you have depends on how misshapen and inflexible the toe is. Your podiatric surgeon may:
- Cut a tendon away from the bone. (Tendons are strong bands of connective tissue that attach muscle to bone.)
- Remove a small piece of bone from the toe.
- Realign tendons to reposition your toe.
- Fasten the bones with pins/screws.
- Join (fuse) the bones in the toe. If the bones are fused together, you will no longer be able to bend the toe, but the toe will be flat.
After the hammer toe surgery, you can expect the following outcomes:
- The deformed toe will be in a better position.
- You will have less pain in your toe.
- You will have an easier time finding shoes that fit.
Reasons for Having Hammer Toe Repair Surgery
You might opt for surgical repair if the shape or position of your toe causes pain and ulceration. If one or more of the bones in your toe have become deformed, it might be hard or painful to walk and you may have trouble finding shoes that feel comfortable. These are all good reasons to talk about your options with a skilled hammer toe repair surgeon.