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Hammertoe Correction


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.


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Anesthesia is medicine to make you comfortable during the surgery. Healthcare providers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • General anesthesia is used to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Healthcare providers may give you anesthesia through your IV. You may breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • Local or regional anesthesia is medicine injected into your leg or foot. It is used to numb the whole area and dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery.
  • Antibiotics may be given through your IV to prevent infection.

During your surgery:

  • One or more incisions will be made in your toe where it attaches to your foot. The kind of surgery you have depends on how much your toe bends. Your surgeon may loosen tendons or ligaments that are causing the abnormal bending. Tendons are bands of tough tissue that connect muscle to bone. Ligaments are bands of tough tissue that connect bones. Your surgeon may move part of one tendon and connect it to a different one.
  • Some of the joint or bone tissue may be removed to straighten your toe. Your surgeon may place a wire, screws, or pins through your toe bones to keep your toe straight. He may remove the toe. The incision will be closed with stitches.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room or allowed to go home.

  • A medical shoe with a stiff sole or a cast boot you can remove will be put on your foot. You then may be allowed to put full weight on your foot.
  • Pain medicine will decrease or take away pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • NSAIDs decrease swelling, pain, and fever.


  • You may have long-term pain, stiffness, swelling, or numbness in your toe. Your toe may be weak or not sit flat on the ground. A wire or screw placed during surgery may break or come out. You may develop an infection. Damaged blood vessels can lead to gangrene or loss of your toe.
  • The bend in your toe may get worse if you do not have surgery. Sores or calluses may form on your foot or toes over the bent areas. You may have pain and permanent problems walking.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.