Hammertoe Surgery: What To Expect And Tips For A Speedy Recovery

Hammertoe gets its name from the deformed shape of the toes, which resemble a hammer. Typically, hammertoes impact the middle three toes, and if treated promptly, nonsurgical interventions can help straighten out the toes. However, when hammertoe becomes too severe and the pain associated with hammertoe becomes too intense, surgery is often recommended. 

Here is what you can expect during hammertoe surgery and a few tips to help you recover.

How to Prepare for Hammertoe Surgery

As with any procedure, it is essential to properly prepare for surgery. Begin by asking your surgeon any questions about the procedure and voice any concerns you have. Your surgeon will thoroughly explain the procedure and what you can expect during recovery. Because you will be put under general anesthesia or a nerve block will be used, it is essential to secure a ride home.

Before the procedure, pick up any medications and anything else you need to aid in your recovery, such as a knee scooter or crutches. Also, your surgeon will advise you to stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin or blood thinners, before the procedure to prevent excess bleeding.

What To Expect During Hammertoe Surgery

The procedure you will undergo depends on the type of hammertoe you are diagnosed with. For example, if you have a flexible hammertoe, the surgeon will straighten the toes by moving the tendons found at the bottom of the toes to the top of the toes.

For a patient with a fixed hammertoe, which means that the toes are rigid, the surgeon will often remove the inflexible tendon, and a pin is placed to keep the tendons in place.

Whatever the type of hammertoe, the surgery is generally an outpatient procedure, which means you will go home the same day.

Tips to Help You Recover From Hammertoe Surgery

It will typically take several weeks to recover from your hammertoe surgery fully. Get plenty of rest after the procedure, keep your foot elevated, and apply ice to prevent swelling. Your doctor or physical therapist will teach you at-home exercises to begin performing a few days after surgery. These exercises are designed to help improve mobility and increase flexibility.

Visit your physical therapist as directed by your doctor. Go to every appointment and do any homework given by the physical therapist.

Hammertoe is a common condition that sometimes requires surgery. Contact your doctor with any other questions about hammertoe surgery.

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