Rigid Hammertoes May Require Surgery


Hammertoes in the early stages can often be treated with non-invasive methods. However, when the bend becomes severe and the joint is rigid, surgery will be needed to remove or modify the bent section in order to straighten the toe. 

Hammertoes are generally placed in one of two categories: either flexible or rigid. The type of hammertoe determines what type of surgery will be performed. Your foot surgeon will realign the toe joints to decrease contraction so that the toes remain straight upon weight-bearing and other activities. 

The 2 most common types of hammertoe surgery include the following: 

  1. Fusion surgery—In this type of hammertoe surgery, the rigid joint is completely removed and the bones on either side are fused together with hardware to straighten the toe. Tendons around the toe are also modified to fit the new configuration. For flexible hammertoes, it may be necessary to relocate a tendon from the top of the toe to the bottom to optimize toe alignment and flexibility.

  2. Joint resection surgery—This type of surgery is used mostly for inflexible hammertoes, and it involves removing the end of the affected joint and holding the toe in the proper position with hardware. 

Since hammertoe surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, you can go home on the same day as the procedure. A protective boot may be required at first. After the initial 8-10 week healing process, complete recovery will involve physical therapy exercises to strengthen the toes and regain flexibility. 

If you are suffering from hammertoes that may need surgery, see your foot doctor for the proper evaluation and treatment. Call Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, PC located in Martins Ferry, Ohio and St. Clairsville, Ohio, as well as Wheeling West Virginia. With access to advanced technologies, Dr. Bruce G. Blank and his staff can help you manage all of your foot and ankle conditions including heel pain, ankle sprains, toe deformities, fungal toenails, and plantar warts. Call 740-633-4188 or make an appointment online today.