Hammer Toe Surgery: What to expect?
The first thing that you need to know about hammertoe surgery is what to expect. There are different types of hammertoes and they have various causes. Some of them are caused by overuse or repetitive stress injuries such as tennis elbow, while others are congenital. Hammertoe surgery can fix these problems and make your foot stronger, but there is no guarantee that it will work for everyone.
In general, hammertoe surgery is done when there is a problem with the tendons connecting the toes. These tendons connect the bones of your feet together and are called metatarsals. If one of these tendons gets damaged, then it can cause pain in both your feet if not repaired properly. Sometimes this type of injury occurs because someone has been running too much or jumping around too much.
Other times, it may happen from being overweight or having poor posture.
There are two main surgical procedures that can correct this problem. One procedure involves cutting out the affected tendon and replacing it with a new one. Another procedure involves using screws to hold the bone back into place so that it doesn’t move around anymore. Both procedures can help alleviate pain and help you do the things you like much easier.
Hammertoe surgery recovery pictures
After you have hammertoe surgery done, there is going to be some downtime while your body heals. It is important to not put any weight on your foot for at least a week or two after the procedure. This is typically done by using crutches or a walker when you need to move around. Your surgeon will tell you when its okay to put weight on your foot.
Most people who have the surgery done don’t have any issues and heal fairly quickly. Some people have problems with their new tendons not working properly and in those situations, repeat surgeries or even toe amputations may be needed to help relieve pain and prevent further damage.
You should follow all of your doctors instructions for at least a few months after you leave the hospital. He or she will tell you how long you should wait before you put any weight on your foot. It usually takes at least a few months before you are able to return to your normal activities and can run around like you used to be able to do.
The healing process is fairly easy in most cases, but it does take some time and there may be some pain involved. It certainly isn’t as bad as some other surgeries that are out there though. Most people return to work in a few weeks or at least a month after they have the surgery done.
Possible Risks and Complications of Hammertoe Surgery
As with any type of surgery, there are going to be some risks involved as well as potential complications that can happen. Because hammertoe surgery involves cutting skin and making incisions on your foot, there is always the chance of infection occurring. Your surgeon will give you antibiotics to take after the surgery to help prevent this from happening, but it is still possible.
Infection isn’t the only potential problem though. There is a potential for uneven skin tone or an unattractive toe if the incisions aren’t done properly. Some people also have trouble with their nerves being affected so that they don’t have feeling in certain parts of their foot anymore. In some situations, a second surgery may be needed if these problems arise.
While uncommon, there is always the chance that a toe or two might have to be amputated because it was damaged by diabetes a lot more than the others. Other complications that may arise are chronic pain and an inability to properly move your foot.
It is important to remember that every surgery has its own risks involved. While it is always possible for something to go wrong, you can reduce your chances of having a problem by following all of your doctors instructions. It also helps to have a good relationship with your doctor so that you can communicate any problems or concerns that you might be having after the procedure.
Sources & references used in this article:
Hammertoe correction with k-wire fixation by WC Kramer, M Parman… – Foot & Ankle International, 2015 – journals.sagepub.com
Hammer toe correction using an absorbable pin by KF Konkel, ER Sover, AG Menger… – Foot & ankle …, 2011 – journals.sagepub.com
Isham Hammertoe procedures for the correction of lesser digital deformities by SA Isham, OE Nunez – Minimally Invasive Surgery of the Foot and Ankle, 2010 – Springer
Complications of lesser toe surgery by JE Femino, K Mueller – Clinical Orthopaedics and Related …, 2001 – journals.lww.com