Hammer toe can be a painful condition, and you may have difficulty wearing certain types of shoes. The condition also makes your toe look deformed and bent at an odd angle. This might make you feel self-conscious when you go to the beach or wear sandals. If you want to improve the appearance of your toe and eliminate pain in the toe joint, hammer toe surgery might be the solution. Here are important points to know.

Your Doctor Chooses The Right Type Of Surgery

If your toe is still flexible, the surgery chosen by your doctor may be different from the surgery you have once your toe no longer bends. You might have a joint resection, bone fusion, or tendon transfer.

Since these surgeries are different, the recovery period is different too. There may even be different results. For instance, you may or may not be able to bend your toe after hammer toe surgery depending on the procedure you have.

You May Need Crutches Or A Knee Walker

Hammer toe surgery is an outpatient procedure, so you get to go home the same day. Depending on the type of surgery you have, you might be able to walk right away as long as you wear a stiff-soled surgical boot.

However, it's possible you'll need to use crutches to keep weight off of your toe. If crutches are too difficult for you to use, the doctor might recommend a knee walker so you can get around without bearing weight on your toe after surgery.

Your Recovery Might Last Weeks

You might recover quickly or the process could take weeks. With some surgeries, you could have a pin in your toe that will be removed after a few weeks. During this time, you may not be able to drive or work depending on the type of work you do. Your doctor may want you to rest and elevate your foot as much as possible.

However, your pain should be manageable with over-the-counter medications, and you'll be able to stay mobile with a knee walker or crutches if you need to use them. A full recovery from surgery could take months since you'll have swelling that needs to go away, but you'll be back to your normal activities before then.

Your doctor may want you to change the type of shoes you wear once you've recovered so your toes have plenty of room while you're waiting on the swelling to go away. If footwear contributed to your hammer toe, you may want to change the type of shoes you wear permanently so you can avoid the need for hammer toe surgery again in the future.

For instance, you may need to limit wearing high heels with pointed toes that cause your toes to crowd against the ends of your shoes. Instead, choose shoes that have a roomy toe area.