Hammertoe deformities are contractures or painful curling of the toes. While there are non-surgical treatments available to reduce pressure on the deformed toe, many times patients request surgery to permanently correct the deformity. This will allow the return to activity without pain and the return to using regular shoes.
Frequently, during hammertoe surgery, pins or wires are used to keep the toe in position while it heals in a straightened manner. This works very well for most people, but some individuals are hesitant to undergo surgery and have pins sticking out of their toes for as long as six weeks. Using pins to temporarily maintain the repair means that the pins will stay in for several weeks. They prevent patients from taking showers for the time period to avoid infection. There is also possibly more swelling noted with external pins due to the need to remove them at a later time. These reasons often cause some patients to hold off on surgery.
There are newer techniques available that use internal devices to hold the corrected toe in position after surgery. When using the internal fixation, as it is called, the surgeon can offer a patient an ability to return to regular shoes sooner, have less swelling, and be able to take a shower sooner as there is no hardware on the outside of the foot. Many patients also are very pleased with the end result because the hardware rarely needs to be removed.
Whether with external pins or internal pins, hammertoe correction surgery is an effective way to permanently end toe discomfort due to a contracted position inside the shoes. This successful surgery will reduce pain and get you back on your feet. If you have hammertoes, and would like information regarding techniques for how our surgeons can repair the deformity and end the pain, do not hesitate to contact us.
Indiana Podiatry Group- foot surgeons successfully treating hammertoes every week.