While nonsurgical treatments exist to halt the progression of hammertoe, surgical intervention is the best choice for correcting this condition. Joint resection, toe relocation and bone-mending procedures are the three most common interventions, states Dr. Neil Blitz.
The purpose of hammertoe surgery is to take a part of the bone within the toe and cut down on the contraction of the joint that leads to the deformity. Joint resection involves removing a portion of the small toe joints underneath the crooked point in the joint, so there is more room to arrange the toe in a flat position. Hammertoes become more rigid over time, and taking out the joint is the only choice when the knuckle has stiffened, as stated by Dr. Blitz.
Bone-mending surgical procedures align the contracted toe correctly by taking out the entire deviated small joint of the toe, allowing flat positioning while the ends of the bones mend together. Sometimes surgical hardware is necessary to hold the bones in place throughout the healing process, and typical options include a temporary wire or an embedded implant, according to Dr. Blitz.
Toe relocation involves aligning the toe using a surgical rod in conjunction with joint resection or bone-mending. Toe relocation only takes place when there is a misalignment where the toe joins the ball of the foot, notes Dr. Blitz.