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Hammertoe surgery

What is a hammer toe?


Hammertoe (digitus malleus) is a foot deformity of the proximal interphalangeal joint that forms an abnormal bend in the middle of the toe, resembling a hammer. Usually occur on the second, third and fourth toes.

How could a hammer toe form?

Hammertoe is caused by the decomposition of the foot’s structure, the collapse of the transverse arch. If the balance of the foot is disrupted, the toes are loaded more and this force the toes to a bent position. Having the toes bent for a long time can cause the muscles in them to shorten, resulting in the hammer toe deformity. It is often found in conjunction with bunions, as the bunion could force the big toe to push the other toes.

What are the symptoms of a hammer toe?

The typical symptom of a hammer toe is the abnormal bend in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th toe, between the proximal and middle phalanges, shaping an inverted V. On the relief of the deformed toe, corns and calluses might appear, accompanied by redness, excoriation, inflammation, and pain. At the affected joint, decreased range of motion and tenseness can be observed.

How is hammer toe treated?

The aim of all kind of hammer toe treatment is to restore the balance of the foot to slow the progression of the deformities. If a deformity appeared, it cannot be reversed, the normal anatomical conditions can be restored only surgically. Conservative treatments can be effective only in an early stage.

The most important thing, to slow down the progression of the deformity, is to wear the right shoes. It can ease the foot pain, relieve pressure and prevent deterioration. If possible, wear low-heeled (2-3 cm maximum) shoes with a deep toe box, made of flexible material, with a flexible sole. Make sure, your toes don’t reach the inside tip of the shoe.

As a conservative therapy, it is recommended to do exercises that strengthen the musculature of the arches of the foot. The pain and inflammation can be eased with antiphlogistics, as a symptomatic treatment.

Special medical equipment can also contribute to reduce the pain and improve the condition of the joints. In case of a hammer toe, special pads could move back the phalanges to their exact place.

The normal anatomical condition of the foot can be restored only surgically.

When bunion or hammer toe surgery is recommended?

Hammer toe surgery is recommended, if the conservative therapy was not effective, the caused complaints worsen the patient’s quality of life significantly, or the deformity cannot be corrected in any other way.

What happens during a hammertoe surgery?

The surgery is always preceded by a personal consultation, where the orthopedic specialist provides detailed information about the necessary preoperative tests, the surgery and the risks of the operation.

The surgery is performed under local or regional anesthesia.

The aim of the surgery is to move the deformed toe to its anatomical position, by correcting the bone structures. During the surgery, the orthopedic specialist removes the raised condyle of the phalange, correct the sharp edges of the bone, seizes the tendon and close the lesion.

Hammertoe surgery - Medicover Hospital
Hammertoe surgery

What are the risks of the operation?

Like every surgical intervention, the hammertoe surgery may have risks and complications. Very rarely the operational area may become inflamed, infected, and the adjacent anatomical structures – tendons, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, neighboring bones – may get injured. In some cases, pharmaceutical treatment may be needed, while in more severe cases the operation might have to be repeated.

What shall I do after the surgery?

The day after the operation the bandage is changed and the patient can leave the Hospital. The stitches will be removed in 7 to 10 days.

After a hammer toe surgery, avoid physical challenges during the first week, however, there is no need for constant bed-rest. The average complete recovery time is 3-4 weeks, after this period the patient may become fully active.

What happens if a hammer toe is not treated?

Without any treatment, foot deformities deteriorate: untreated hammertoe becomes tense and painful.

It is recommended to treat the deformities as soon as possible because the wrong loading of the forefoot could damage the metatarsophalangeal joint and small joints. Bad foot statics affect the ankle, knee and hip joint, and could cause flank pain too.

How much does a hammer toe surgery cost?

The price of a hammertoe surgery composed of several elements. At our hospital, the listed hammertoe surgery cost includes the surgery and the check-up one week after surgery.

We offer a separate consultation package for the first consultation, where the orthopedic specialist decides if the surgery is recommended. The necessary pre-operative examinations can be taken at our hospital, which has an additional cost.

Our goal is to offer you the most reasonable hammertoe surgery price for the highest quality service and care.