Badly Bent Hammertoes May Require Surgery

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When one or more toes becomes badly bent in the shape of a hammer, the pain can become unbearable, and corns often form on the top of the hammertoe where friction from your footwear can create stress and pressure on the toes.

Hammertoes are either flexible or rigid, and the type of surgery will depend on which type you have. Your foot doctor will realign the toe joints to limit the contraction. Once the toe is straighter, you are much less likely to have bothersome corns growing on top.

The two basic types of surgery to correct hammertoes are:

  1. Fusion—With this surgical procedure, the joint that is bent is physically removed, and the bones are fused together. They are held in a straightened position with the help of metal screws and other hardware. The ligaments and tendons surrounding the toe may also need to be altered to achieve maximum straightening. In the case of hammertoes that are still flexible, a tendon can be relocated from the top of the toe to the bottom of the toe.

  2. Resection—Mostly this procedure is used for rigid hammertoes that require the removal of the end of the affected part of the joint and reconstruction with hardware to hold it together.

If you have badly bent hammertoes that may need surgery, contact your podiatrist. At Monroe Foot & Ankle Care, Dr. Elliott M. Perel treats a variety of conditions including diabetic foot problems, bunions, nail fungus, arthritis, and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies including shockwave therapy, MLS Laser treatment, and computerized gait analysis, Monroe Foot & Ankle Care provides specialized, high-quality service for patients across central New Jersey. For any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, contact our Monroe/Jamesburg office at (732) 521-2155 or our Metuchen office at (732) 744-0003 for an appointment.