Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, causing it to resemble a hammer. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and painful, requiring surgery.
Podiatrists will perform Hammertoe surgery as an outpatient basis in the their offices or at a surgery center. The surgery takes about 15 minutes to perform, usually with a local anesthetic, sometimes with sedation. The procedure creates up to four small incisions and re-balances the tendons around the toe to prevent it from curling indefinitely. Depending on the outcome of the surgery, patients can immediately walk wearing a special surgical shoe. Post surgery recovery requires minimal or no pain medication.
Following this procedure, during the first week of recovery, surgeons recommend icing and elevating the foot to promote healing and prevent excessive swelling. Additionally, the patient must keep their dressing clean and dry to prevent infection.
Two weeks after the surgery, the surgeon removes the sutures and replaces the post-operative surgical shoe with a wide athletic shoe. During this time, doctors recommend their patients to gradually increase their physical activities.