Nonsurgical alternatives for treating hammertoe include changing footwear, padding corns and calluses and using orthotic devices, according to American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Undergoing corticosteroid injections, splinting the bent toe and using oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are other nonsurgical treatment options.
Surgery is likely needed in the event that the toe becomes extremely rigid and painful, states American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Toes that develop open sores are also probable candidates for surgery. The length of recovery time from surgery depends on a host of variables, including the presence of other foot ailments, the type of procedure performed and the patient's lifestyle.