Hammer Toe Surgery | Orthopaedics | West Valley Hospital

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Hammer Toe Surgery

Hammer toe surgery is performed to straighten deformed toes that resemble a hammer, to relieve pain caused by the bent toe and to make your foot more comfortable in your shoe.

What is a hammer toe?

A hammer toe is a painful misshapen small toe that occurs due to an imbalance in your muscles, tendons or ligaments that normally keep your toe straight. A hammer toe is recognisable as it is bent at the middle joint and it flexes downward at the end to create a hammer shape. Moving a hammer toe can be difficult or painful. Corns and calluses are also common if you have a hammer toe as your toe rubs against the inside of your shoes. In the early stages of hammer toe your joint is movable and is called a flexible hammer toe. When the joint is no longer movable it is known as a rigid hammer toe. The only way to correct rigid hammer toes is with surgery.

What does hammer toe surgery involve?

Hammer toe surgery is usually carried out on an outpatient basis under local anaesthetic. The exact procedure will depend on the type and extent of the deformity.

It may involve:

  • Tendon transfer rerouting a tendon so it goes along the top of your toe instead of underneath to help straighten your bent toe joint.
  • Tendon release partway or entirely cutting the tendon in your toe to relieve contracted muscles. 
  • Arthroplasty (joint resection) removing a portion of the bone at the hammer.
  • Fusion cutting both ends of the bone at your hammer toe joint so they fuse as it heals.
  • Amputation in very rare cases the toe may be removed.

In both joint resection and fusion, ligaments and tendons are cut to help straighten your toe and temporary pins or wires may be inserted to keep your toe in place.

How long does it take to recover from a hammer toe surgery?

The time it takes to recover from hammer toe surgery will depend on the type of surgery you have and your overall health. In general, you can expect the swelling to have gone down enough so that you can wear a normal soft loose-fitting shoe after six weeks.

After your hammer toe surgery, you will be given pain relief. You should avoid putting weight on your foot for several weeks whilst it heals. Keeping it elevated will help to speed up healing, control swelling, and reduce pain. You may find walking difficult and painful to start with. You should start walking a little each day and build up the time slowly. Your surgeon may recommend a special open-toe shoe, a cane or crutches for you during your recovery period.

A few weeks after surgery, any stitches and/or pins and wires will be removed. You will be able to drive again after approximately six weeks when you can perform an emergency stop. Your surgeon or physiotherapist may give you some exercises to improve the muscle strength in your toe and foot that can help with healing and prevent a recurrence.

How much does a hammer toe surgery cost?

The cost of hammer toe surgery varies based on the type of surgery you need and whether any other issues are affecting the health of your toes. The cost of a hammer toe surgery at West Valley Hospital is in the range of £2282. This is a guide package price and includes unlimited aftercare. Following your consultation, we will give you a written cost package price quote that is guaranteed for a minimum of three months. We offer a promise of no hidden extras to pay for, over the confirmed package price, even if you stay in the hospital longer or your treatment is more complex than anticipated.

We have other self-funding options so that you can pay for your treatment in a way that suits you and your finances. These include pay as you go and interest-free finance medical loans. You may be able to use your private medical insurance to cover the cost of your hammer toe surgery if it is performed for medical reasons. We advise that you get written confirmation from your insurance provider that they will cover your procedure before you commence treatment.

Hammer toe surgery with West Valley Hospital

Here at West Valley Hospital, we will individually assess your hammer toe and provide you will the most appropriate treatment for your needs.

Our experienced orthopaedic surgeons are highly skilled and qualified in performing hammer toe surgery.

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