Toe Deformities

What are Toe Deformities?

Toe deformities such as hammer toes, clawed toes, and mallet toes are common conditions characterized by abnormal bending or buckling of the toes.

These deformities can be both embarrassing and painful. Treatment options include procedures to reset or fuse the affected joints into corrected positions.

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What are the Treatment Options for Toe Deformities?

Treatment options for toe deformities include non-surgical and surgical approaches:

Non-Surgical Treatment:

Conservative measures such as splints, orthotics, and custom footwear can provide some comfort but may not straighten the affected toe.

Surgical Treatment:

  1. Digital Excision Arthroplasty: This procedure involves removing the joint affected by the deformity to straighten the toe, addressing conditions like hammer, mallet, or claw toes.
  2. Digital Fusion: Surgery aimed at straightening the toe by removing part of the joints and fusing the bones together, relieving pressure from the shoe. Temporary wires or internal implants may be used to hold the bones together.

Both surgical options offer effective solutions to correct toe deformities and provide lasting relief from pain and discomfort.

Are There Risks or Side-Effects Following Surgery to Fix Toe Deformities?

Surgery to fix toe deformities carries risks such as pain, swelling, infection, deep vein thrombosis, complex regional pain syndrome, and scarring. Specific complications of arthroplasty (joint removal) and digital fusion surgeries include reduced gripping ability of the toe, thicker joint or recurrence of deformity, floppy toe, persistent swelling, sore scar line, delayed or nonhealing fusion, and extremely rare risk of toe loss.

Mr Barlow-Kearsley will discuss these risks with you before the procedure to ensure you are well-informed.

What Happens After Surgery?

After toe deformity surgery, which typically lasts between 20 to 30 minutes, you’ll have a bulky dressing on your foot and be provided with a post-operative shoe. Upon returning to the ward, you’ll be instructed by the nurses to eat and start taking painkillers. Your podiatric surgeon will then visit you to address any questions and discharge you from the hospital.

Driving after foot surgery is not recommended, so you should arrange to be accompanied home by a responsible adult. You’ll also receive information about your follow-up appointment, either on the day of the surgery or through a letter in the post.