When Hammertoes Need Surgery


Although numerous non-invasive options are available for treating the complications of hammertoes, sometimes a toe that is bent horribly out of position will require a surgical procedure to straighten it out if conservative measures are ineffective.

Hammertoes are classified as either flexible or rigid, which determines what type of surgery is needed. The surgeon will realign the toe joints to decrease contraction tendencies, and also so the toes are straight when standing, walking, etc…

There are two basic types of hammertoe surgery:

Fusion—In this type of surgery, the joint that is bent out of position is actually removed and the bones are fused together in a straightened position with hardware. Ligaments and tendons around the toe are also repaired to achieve this result. In the case of flexible hammertoes, the movement of a tendon from the top of the toe to the bottom can help achieve the optimal alignment.

Joint resection—Used mostly for inflexible hammertoes, this method involves removing the end of the affected joint and using hardware to hold it in position.

Recovery from hammertoe surgery:

This surgery is often performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can return home on the same day of the procedure. The healing process takes 6 to 8 weeks and involves physical therapy and exercise program to ensure proper recovery.

If you are suffering with hammertoes that may need surgery, your foot care specialist is here to help. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.