Mercy's Top Surgeons Perform Hammer Toe Correction in Baltimore

The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Our top surgeons at The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy in Baltimore perform hammer toe correction to help relieve the pain associated with having a hammer toe.

What is Hammer Toe Correction?

A hammer toe is a deformity of the lesser toe joints where the toe is flexed downward leaving a painful bump on the top of the toe.

This is most commonly caused by wearing shoes that are too tight over a long period of time. The skin over the top of the bump becomes red and irritated with shoe wear and eventually forms a callus. This can make wearing even comfortable shoes painful and can interfere with work or exercise.

Surgery can be performed to correct the hammer toe deformity. In mild flexible deformities, releasing tendons and ligaments may be all that is necessary to straighten the toe and relieve the pressure.

In more severe deformities that are rigid, a small part of the bone is routinely removed to allow room for the toe to straighten. The toe is usually held in this position with a pin that extends out the tip of the toe and is removed in the office or an internal device that remains in permanently.

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How is a Hammer Toe Correction performed?

Hammer toe correction surgery is an outpatient procedure done in the operating room.

It is performed under anesthesia with a tourniquet around the ankle to minimize bleeding. An incision is made over the top of the hammer toe and the soft-tissues are dissected away from the bone being careful to protect the nerves and vessels. At this point a small portion of the bone is removed and the toe joint is straightened.

The alignment can be held straight by a pin that is drilled across the joint and left exposed at the tip of toe so that it can be removed in the office later. Another technique is to use an internal device that stays in the toe permanently. 

The decision on which technique to use depends on the type of deformity and the preference of the surgeon.

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