Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third or fourth and fifth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, causing it to resemble a hammer.
Hammertoe has several causes, most frequently resulting from shoes that do not fit and instead continuously push the toes into a certain direction, weakening and shortening the muscles. High heels and tight, narrow footwear are the usual culprits. Bunions can also foster the development of these deformities.
It’s not only unsightly. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and painful, requiring surgery.
Cherrywood Foot Care specializes in hammertoe surgery on an outpatient basis. Typically, a local anesthetic is used, sometimes combined with sedation. Up to four small incisions are made and the tendons are rebalanced around the toe so that it no longer curls. The surgery takes about 15 minutes.
Usually, patients can walk immediately after the surgery wearing a special surgical shoe. Minimal or no pain medication is needed following the surgery.
Icing and elevation of the foot is recommended during the first week following the procedure to prevent excessive swelling and promote healing. It is also important that the dressing be kept clean and dry to prevent infection. Two weeks after the surgery, the sutures are removed and a wide athletic shoe can replace the post-operative surgical shoe. Patients can then gradually increase their walking and other physical activities.
Cherrywood Foot Care‘s team of board-certified foot specialists can resolve unsightly and painful hammertoes and get you back on your feet again.