• Hammertoe is a term that indicates flexion or curving of the toe joints. Prominence of bone in the toe frequently causes rubbing on skin in shoe gear with pain and texture changes including thickening, referred to as corns or callus.
  • The influence of pathomechanics and foot gear on the deformity was explained. Pronation of the rearfoot during walking causes instability, muscle tendon imbalance and buckling of the toes. Recommend use of sneakers and accommodative footgear including customized innersoles and orthotics. It was explained that orthotics address the biomechanical cause of problem, pronation of the rearfoot. Control of pronation reduces the deforming forces that make hammertoes worse.
  • It was explained that surgery is only one option for treatment of hammertoes. Hammertoes may never require surgery and surgery is always elective. Accommodation with aperture pads and orthotics can make having a hammertoe tolerable.
  • Surgical correction: Under sedation and local anesthesia at the hospital an incision is made on the top of the joint. Excessive bone is removed from the toe. Screws are frequently placed through the bones stabilization and to permanently maintain correction. It was explained that patient is usually permitted to walk using a surgical shoe or cam walker boot and that healing usually takes 2 to 4 months. Toes frequently swell for several months post surgery.
  • Potential risks and complications were explained including, infection, thick or ugly scarring, numbness, failure to heal, fixation failure and removal by another operation, abnormal position of the toe, stiffness of the toe joints, continued pain in the toe joint, and recurrence of deformity.

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