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Hammertoe Correction

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.

HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before your surgery:

  • Arrange to have someone drive you home. If you are having general anesthesia, the person should stay with you for 24 hours. The person can watch for any problems from the anesthesia and call for help if needed.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines before your surgery. Your provider will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.
  • Tell your provider about any allergies you have. Tell him or her if you have ever had an allergic reaction to anesthesia or antibiotics. You may be given antibiotics before surgery to prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • You may need blood tests before your surgery. You may also need x-rays, a bone scan, or an MRI of your foot.

The night before your surgery:

Your healthcare provider may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your surgery:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Healthcare providers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
  • Take only the medicines your healthcare provider told you to take.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

  • 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 tendon.
  • 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. 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 may be able to go home.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Risks

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.

Care Agreement

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.