Do You Need Surgery for a Hammertoe?

Hammertoe is not an uncommon issue to face, but that does not make it any less painful. Hammertoe is a deformity of the toe, leading it to look much like a hammer. In many cases, doctors want to perform surgery on a toe that has this issue.

So, what is surgery like? Is it the right option for you? Here's what you need to know.

Why Do Some People Need Surgery?

There are many reasons why people require hammertoe surgery. The condition may be caused by an injury or a congenital issue, like a muscle imbalance or injury to the spinal cord. In other cases, hammertoe is linked to nerve damage. Some people simply wear shoes that create intense pressure on the toes, leading to a painful experience.

Before surgery, you should focus on making some lifestyle changes. For example, you can wear shoes that are loose or do not compress the toes. You should also avoid high heels and similar shoes.

What Happens During Surgery?

During surgery, the doctor may choose between several courses of action based on your needs. In some cases, the doctor decides to insert a rod into the toe to keep it straight. Sometimes the doctor will work with the tendons in the toe to straighten it out. You may need to have this surgery performed on multiple toes, perhaps even on multiple feet.

Is Hammertoe Surgery Risky?

As with any surgery, there is some risk to the treatment session. For example, you may experience hammertoe again in the future, or you might feel less balanced on your feet. Your doctor will go over these risks with you ahead of time.

When Is Surgery the Best Option?

Often, surgery is the best option because the pain has become too intense. You might feel that the pain is growing too intense, and maybe you are even struggling to participate in your favorite activities or work.

In other cases, your toe might not have the flexibility it needs for you to operate safely. For example, you may struggle to bend your toe properly and take any steps. You are also a good candidate if you have already tried everything. For example, you might have already tried different shoes or tried wearing splints.

What Should You Do Next?

The next step is to talk to services like Ankle & Foot Specialists of Puget Sound about surgery. You can discuss your symptoms and ask questions about the procedure to ensure it is the best option for your health.