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Hammertoe Surgery

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

Boutique Podiatry Oregon Institute of Foot Care Lake Oswego
Inspection of the toes with the hands to detect the presence of calluses, warts or athlete's foot

What is a Hammertoe?

Hammertoe surgery is a unique procedure that Dr. Manson performs, oftentimes along with bunion surgery. Hammertoe surgery allows you to weight bear immediately, and get back into a gym shoe in a short amount of time! A hammertoe is a toe that curls or bends at the end of the toe. It is often caused by a long toe that extends past the other shorter toes. Hammertoes can be troublesome for many reasons, not only cosmetically, but also functionally.

With a hammertoe, there is often a painful corn on top of the toe or callus on the ball of the foot. The toe can dislocate over the metatarsal bone due to the toe constantly jamming at the end of the shoe or if the metatarsal bone behind the toe is too long.

What is the Cost of Hammertoe Surgery?

Hammertoe 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 hammertoe surgery you need based on where you are feeling pain and with in-office X-rays of your feet. The hammertoe surgery is completed at an outpatient surgery center or hospital. Hammertoe 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 that is arthritic and prevents the toe from straightening. 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 the hammertoe surgery. 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.
Woman's foot. Hammer toes on the deck of a sailing boat.

What is the Recovery Process?

After hammertoe surgery, you usually experience post-surgical 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 foot must be kept clean and dry. After 2-3 weeks, the sutures will be removed and patients 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 you are allowed to return to exercise, like running and jumping, and typical shoes can be worn.

Hammertoe surgery is very successful, 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, we tell our 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.

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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.


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