Hammer Toe Surgery
What is hammer toe surgery?
Hammer toe surgery is used to correct hammer toe, a type of toe deformity that causes the middle toes to bend up at the middle joint. Narrow shoes and high heels can exacerbate the condition and over time, the muscle imbalance causes the joint to constrict and stiffen. Hammer toe can also be related to other foot problems such as bunions and corns. When conservative treatments such as modified shoe wear and pain relief are no longer effective, your doctor may suggest hammer toe surgery as the next step.
If the joint is still flexible, it may be possible to redirect existing tendons to help straighten the toe and relieve pain. In more severe hammer toe cases where the toe joint is rigid, your doctor may recommend joint resection surgery. In this procedure, the soft tissue is cut to straighten the toe, and the bone is shaped and secured using pins and rods. In some cases, the bones that make up the affected joint are cut and pinned together until they have naturally fused.
General recovery times
Keeping your foot elevated as much as possible after hammer toe surgery will take pressure off the toe while the healing takes place. It is completely normal to experience some pain and swelling after surgery, and whilst the pain should subside soon afterwards the swelling can last up to one year. You are likely to wear a special shoe after surgery to protect your foot and if your doctor used any type of pins during your procedure, these will be removed a few weeks after the operation.
Driving should be avoided until cleared by your doctor, and be prepared to take 1-4 weeks off work depending on the physical requirements of your job. Standing and walking will be limited for up to 6 weeks. A general recovery will take about 6 weeks whilst a full recovery may take some patients up to a year. Talk to your doctor about any other restrictions as you recover.
Other foot surgeries and procedures
Common foot conditions
How much will my foot surgery cost?
Understanding the cost of your treatment is an important consideration before committing to surgery, but it’s not always easy to find the information you need. Learn more about the factors which contribute to the cost of your surgery:
What will my treatment and recovery look like?
Familiarising yourself with your treatment program and understanding the recovery process are important steps to take on the pathway to surgery.
A common medical procedure to treat bunions that cause ongoing painful symptoms.Read More