Hammer toe surgery

Hammer toe surgery is an intervention to correct foot deformities. During the surgeries, the relation of the toe bones to each other is corrected, which helps restore the original anatomical condition of the foot.

What is a hammer toe?

The hammer toe (digitus malleus) is typically a distortion of the second and third toes, where the lower toe joint stands out and the second and third descend, forming an inverted V-shape. It got its name after this, the hammer-forming deformity of the toes.

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How does it develop?

The cause of the development of the hammer toe is the disintegration of the statics of the foot, the sinking of the transverse arch. When the balance is upset and the weight is placed at the base of the toes, the big toe begins to lean outward, the bone end is arched. Due to the rearrangement, the other toes fit less and are placed in a bent position due to poor loading. If the toes are in a bent position for a long time, the muscles that bend the middle phalanx will be shortened, while the  muscles stretching the primary phalanx will extend, the disproportion will stabilize and the hammer toe will form. The lesion is often accompanied by a bunion.

What are the symptoms of the hammer toe?

A characteristic symptom of a hammer toe is that the second or third toe, (rarely the fourth or fifth) takes on an inverted V-shape, standing out at the junction of the primary and middle phalanx. Due to the protrusion of the deformed toe, calluses develop at the highest point of the toe, wearing shoes causes pain and irritation. It is often accompanied by a burning sensation, redness, inflammation, and soreness. Decreased range of motion and stiffness can be observed at the affected joint.

How can a hammer toe be treated?

The most important condition for handling a hammer toe is to restore the statics of the foot to slow down the progress of the deformity, because once the deformity develops, it can no longer be reversed.

The most important thing is to wear the right shoes, insoles or orthopaedic shoes if necessary, which leaves enough space for the toes. If possible, choose shoes with round toes and wide, with a heel height of no more than 2-3 cm. It is also worth paying attention exercising the foot, during which we can strengthen the muscles holding the arch of the foot. Exercises that exercise the foot and move the toes strengthen the muscles that hold the arch.

In case of pain and inflammation, anti-inflammatory preparations can be used as symptomatic treatment. Special medical aids can also improve the condition, in the case of a hammer toe, a hammer toe correction pad or tapes can be used.

It is important to emphasize that a smaller deformity is always easier to treat than a more serious one. Therefore, if a small lesion occurs, consult an orthopaedic doctor as soon as possible. Restoring the original shape of the foot in case of a hammer toe is only possible surgically.

When is surgery necessary?

Hammer toe surgery is necessary if conservative treatment methods have not proven effective and the deformity is such that it cannot be corrected in any other way, and if the complaints it causes (pain, aesthetic problem) significantly impair the patient’s quality of life.

How is the hammer toe surgery performed?

The operation is always preceded by a personal consultation, during which the orthopaedic specialist performing the operation provides detailed information about the preoperative tests, as well as the course of the operation and its risks.

Surgery can be performed under local or regional anaesthesia.

The point of the surgery is to bring the deformed toe into a normal anatomical position, which requires correction of the deformed bone structure.

During the operation, the protruding toe phalanx is removed by the doctor, the sharp edges of the bone are corrected, and the tendon above it is sutured, and then the wound is closed with a few stitches.

What are the risks of the surgery?

Like any surgical procedure, hammer toe surgery can have risks and complications. Very rarely, inflammation and infection of the surgical site and damage to the surrounding anatomical formulas: tendons, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, adjacent bones, may occur. In case of inserted metal, an allergic reaction might develop, as well as damage and migration of the implants. In such cases, medication may be required in milder cases and repeated surgery in more severe cases.

What can I expect after the surgery?

The next day after the surgery, the dressing is changed and then the patient can leave for home. Suture collection is due after 7-10 days. After hammer toe surgery, you should refrain from physical exertion for the first week, but constant bed rest is not required. The average total healing time is 3-4 weeks, by which time the limb can be fully strained.

What can it cause if left untreated?

An untreated hammer toe gets worse, the toe becomes stiffer and more painful. It is worth getting to the treatment as soon as possible, due to the bad strain, the carpal joints can be destroyed prematurely, the small joints start to wear out. Poor leg statics also affect the ankles, knees, and hip joints, and can even cause lower back pain.

What is included in the price of the hammer toe surgery?

The price of hammer toe surgery includes the cost of the surgery as well as the cost of the hospital stay after the surgery and the follow-up examinations. The fee of the preliminary specialist consultation and the pre-operative examinations is not part of the surgical price, please inquire about the cost of these from our Customer Service.

Convenience services

We accommodate our clients in a modern, pleasant, air-conditioned single room. Each room has a private bathroom, fridge and TV, and free WIFI access. We also provide our clients with individual nurse supervision, who will help your continuous recovery during your stay.

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