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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A hammertoe is abnormal bending of your toe. The part of your toe attached to your foot bends up, and the tip bends down. Hammertoe correction is surgery to straighten your toe.
- Pain medicine will decrease or take away pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- NSAIDs decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs are available without a doctor's order. Ask your healthcare provider which medicine is right for you. Ask how much to take and when to take it. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding and kidney problems if not taken correctly.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your foot surgeon within 1 week or as directed:
You will need to return to have your stitches removed or to have x-rays. If you had a wire put into your toe, your foot surgeon will need to remove it. The wire is usually removed 4 weeks after the surgery but may be left in for up to 8 weeks. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Care for your wound as directed. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
- Raise your foot above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your foot on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
- Wear wide, rounded, or square-tipped shoes. The tip needs to have extra room so your toe does not rub against it. Do not wear high-heeled shoes.
- Return to your daily activities as directed. You may need to wait at least 2 weeks after surgery.
Contact your healthcare provider or foot surgeon if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have numbness, weakness, or stiffness in your toe or foot.
- Your toe is out of position or is starting to bend again.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your stitches come apart.
- Your foot or toe becomes cold to the touch or looks blue or black.
- You have severe pain in your foot or toe.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.