Hammertoe is a condition when one or more of the toes, usually the middle three toes, are bent under with the joint arched up and the end of the toe curved under the foot. The center is bent up to resemble a hammer. It is painful when it rubs against shoes, and the tip of the toe rubs against the sole of the shoe or the ground. Often callouses develop. When padding shoes and orthotics no longer help, surgery by a New York City hammertoe surgeon may be the only option.
Types of Hammertoe
When you talk to a Queens or Brooklyn Hammertoe surgeon, they will evaluate your feet and toes to determine how severe your hammertoes are and explain them to you in detail. These usually fall into two categories, either flexible or fixed. Dr. E, one of the best foot doctors in New York, explains how they differ:
Flexible Hammertoe can usually by straightened during an examination. If this is the case, surgery may involve less invasive tendon surgery.
Fixed hammertoe is inflexible and can’t be moved because it has stiffened into position. This requires more advanced surgery and has a variety of options for surgical treatment.
Best Foot Doctor NY Offers All Types of Hammertoe Surgery in New York City and the Surrounding Area
Whether you live in New York City, Brooklyn, or Queens, our orthopedic surgeons offer the latest hammertoe surgery options available in our state-of-the-art outpatient surgical suites.
Most hammertoe surgery is an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia. We may provide sedation as necessary, but this is on a case-by-case basis. For flexible hammertoes, our Queens hammertoe surgeons will perform a less invasive procedure than is needed for a fixed hammertoe.
Hammertoe Tendon Transfer
This involves transferring a tendon from the bottom of the affected toe to the top to straighten the joint and help hold it in place. In this procedure, the joint itself is preserved, and movement is maintained. The FDL tendon is rerouted to run along the top of the toe rather than underneath it. This procedure is sometimes called FDL tendon transfer.
Tendon release is when your Brooklyn hammertoe surgeon releases contracted muscles that have become shortened over time resulting in permanent contraction and malformation of the toe. Tendon release restores range of movement and can relieve pain and flatten the deformity of the hammertoe. During surgery, the tendon is wholly or partially cut, with the two sections joined to form a longer length of tendon. This is sometimes called tendon lengthening or flexor tenotomy.
This is a more serious procedure performed by our Brooklyn, New York, and Queens hammertoe surgeons for patients who suffer from fixed hammertoe. It is a surgical resectioning involving removing one of the ends of the toe bone joint where the toe is bent to relieve pain and help flatten the toe. This is also called a joint resection. There are several arthroplasty options available for hammertoe surgery, including:
- Arthroplasty with fixation, which uses a wire or pin to stabilize the deformed toe
- Arthroplasty with tendon relocation, which realigns the toe and creates joint space by moving a tendon.
- Arthroplasty with implantation, which uses a plastic implant as a spacer in the joint.
Fusion is the joining of both ends of the bone in the toe when you are suffering from severe, fixed hammertoe. The bones are cut at the joint and joined, so they will fuse together as they heal. Ligaments and tendons will be cut in order to allow the toe to straighten properly as it heals and fuses. Screws or pins may be used to stabilize the bones until they heal.
Our experienced New York and Queens hammertoe surgeons will determine which procedure is best for your type and severity of hammertoe. Dr. E often performs this surgery. He is one of the preeminent surgeons in the area for this type of hammertoe procedure.
New York City, Queens, and Brooklyn Hammertoe Surgeons Perform In-Office Procedures
If you need hammertoe surgery, our surgeons can perform the necessary procedures in-office so you can recuperate in the comfort of your own home the same day. In most cases, an anesthesiologist will administer local anesthesia so you won’t feel anything while we do the procedure. After a few hours in recovery, someone can take you home to recover in the comfort of your own home.
The usual rules will apply after surgery. Keep your foot elevated, take your prescribed medications properly. Use ice to keep swelling minimized, and keep off your foot as much as possible. We’ll arrange for a follow-up appointment in a few days to check your incision and make sure everything is healing correctly.
Recovering from Hammertoe Surgery
When you get home following surgery, move around as little as possible, and do not put weight on your foot. You will wear a special boot or cast to protect the stitches and the incision while holding the toe in proper alignment during the healing process. Make sure you protect the area and keep it dry by covering it with a plastic bag when showering. It is crucial to keep the incision dry.
Keep your foot elevated to your heart level for the first few weeks following surgery. This will reduce swelling and aid in the healing process. This means lying on a couch, recliner, or in bed. Your surgeon will recommend crutches or a walker for maneuvering around the house. You will not be able to drive for four to six weeks following surgery. If you have any questions as you recover, you can call Dr. E’s office and someone will address your concerns.
You will have to follow up with appointments with your hammertoe surgeon at one of our New York City, Queens, or Brooklyn offices to make sure your incision is healing properly. Two to three weeks after surgery, the stitches will be removed. And soon after that, any pins will be removed. At some point, your surgeon may recommend exercises at home or with a physical therapist to strengthen the toe. These exercises help to ensure flexibility of the tendons and muscles.
If you are suffering from pain and difficulty with movement due to hammertoe, call our office at 718-873-3174 to schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists specializing in hammertoe surgery in New York City, Queens, and Brooklyn. In addition to hammertoe treatment, we also offer bunion surgery in Brooklyn, laser toenail fungus removal, and many other valuable services. An initial consultation can answer your questions and take the first steps toward pain-free living.