How do you correct hammer toe?


Quick Answer

To correct hammertoes, surgical procedures such as tendon transfer, joint resection and fusion are often performed to improve balance and mobility while reducing pain and discomfort, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Nonsurgical treatments such as toe taping and padding or orthotic inserts can help correct hammertoes.

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Full Answer

Hammertoes are classified as either flexible or rigid. Flexible hammertoes still bend at the middle toe joint and may not require surgery if nonsurgical treatments adequately correct the position of the toes and muscle imbalance. Orthotic inserts and shoes with a wide toe box may help correct the position of the toes and muscle imbalance over time. Rigid hammertoes no longer bend at the middle toe joint, and they require surgery to correct. Most surgical procedures for hammertoes are performed in the surgeon's office and take one to two hours to complete, states Hartford HealthCare Medical Group.

After hammertoe surgery, patients must wear a soft shoe and keep the toes bandaged for a few weeks while the toes heal. Patients may also have to use a cane or crutches when walking to keep pressure off the foot, states the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Depending on the type of procedure, patients may have to perform range-of-motion exercises to increase muscle strength and overall mobility as the toes heal.

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