Toe Shortening Surgery

Conveniently located to serve Portland, Lake Oswego, & West Linn

Boutique Podiatry Oregon Institute of Foot Care Lake Oswego
Women's feet with long fingers protrude from under the blanket. concept of sleep and rest

What is a Long Toe?

Toe shortening is a unique procedure that Dr. Manson performs, oftentimes along with bunion surgery. Toe shortening surgery allows you to have a healthy, pain-free, beautiful foot!
A long toe extends past the other shorter toes. Long toes can be troublesome for many reasons, not only cosmetically, but also functionally. They may hit the end of the shoe, causing the toe to jam and curl. This can cause a hammertoe, corn on top of the toe, callus on the ball of the foot, or the toe to dislocate over the metatarsal bone.

What is the Cost of Toe Shortening surgery?

Toe shortening surgery is usually fully or partially covered by insurance if it is painful for you. Coverage by insurance is always checked prior to performing the surgery so you are aware of any costs to you.

What Does Hammertoe Surgery Involve?

During your initial consultation, Dr. Manson determines which toe shortening procedures you need based on where you are feeling pain and the final cosmetic outcome you desire. In-office X-rays are taken of your feet and reviewed with you to ensure the final result you want.
Dr. Manson then determines with you how much you want your toe shortened, for optimal functional and cosmetic results. You decide approximately where you envision your shortened toe to be in comparison to the other toes. Some patients want their second toe to be in line with the big toe, or some patients want their second toe to be shorter than the big toe. This is where the surgery becomes more of an art than a science. Dr. Manson corrects the medical issue while achieving the beautiful foot that you want, allowing you to choose the final result based on what is beautiful to you.
The toe shortening surgery is performed at a local surgery center. The toe shortening surgery is done under Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC), also known as twilight anesthesia, through a small incision on the side of the toe. Dr. Manson removes a section of bone depending on how much your toe needs to be shortened, which we determine before surgery.
Touch your toes stretch exercise.
Dr. Manson then inserts a wire to hold the toe in the proper alignment while it heals. This wire is not visible during the healing process. It will be underneath the skin and will not stick out the end of your toe. The wire is not meant to be permanent, and it will be removed at a later date by Dr. Manson. The incision is then closed, allowing you to recover.
For optimal functional and cosmetic results, Dr. Manson always addresses any bunion deformity as well. If you have a bunion along with long toes, Dr. Manson always corrects the bunion along with toe shortening or straightening procedures. If the bunion deformity is not corrected, the big toe pushes against the smaller toes as they heal. This pushing eventually causes the toes to heal crooked or become crooked over time.

What is the Recovery Process?

After the toe shortening or straightening procedure, you usually experience soreness for a few days that is managed with appropriate medication. You are able to immediately weight bear and wear a surgical shoe.

Patients wear the surgical shoe for 2-3 weeks. During that time, the bandage must be kept clean and dry. After 2-3 weeks, the sutures will be removed and you are allowed to wear a gym shoe.

At 8-12 weeks, depending on how the bones are healing, Dr. Manson will numb the toes to remove the wire inside of the toe. This is done with local anesthesia in the office. Then, patients are allowed to return to exercise, like running and jumping, and typical shoes can be worn.

Toe shortening or straightening is a very successful procedure, although no surgery will ever be perfect or without risk. Healing is determined by the success of the surgery, genetics, and compliance with instructions, all combined. With all the surgeries, I tell my patients that it will take 4-6 months before they start to see their true result due to swelling. Dr. Manson utilizes plastic surgery techniques to ensure that your final result is the beautiful foot you want.

Some more serious complications of toe surgery include, but are not limited to, floating toe, crooked healing, creases/scarring to the skin, numbness, or a toe that is painful or swollen.

Related Procedures

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Hammertoe Surgery

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5th Hammertoe Surgery

Female is holding her ankle out of pain at home.


At Oregon Institute of Foot Care, we care about healthy, happy, beautiful feet. We strive to provide personalized foot care and achieve the outcomes, both functionally and cosmetically, that our patients desire. What sets OIFC apart is our dedication to providing the highest quality care available, utilizing the latest medical techniques and technologies, educating patients to make well-informed health care decisions, and restoring foot and ankle function as quickly and beautifully as possible. Our mission is to give you healthy, happy, beautiful feet.


Man running in tennis shoes close up of feet
Close up shot of runner's shoes

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