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Family Foot & Ankle

Fix My Toes, Doc! Considering Hammertoe Surgery

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Doctor Examining HammertoesHammers are often involved when you’re looking to fix something, but if the hammers are your toes, you probably need something fixed instead.

Hammertoes are a common affliction faced by millions, particularly older women (though they can happen to anyone). They typically develop slowly, starting with an unnatural bend in one or more of the smaller toes. At first you may still be able to push the joint around with your fingers, but in time it can become rigidly, painfully stuck in a very uncomfortable position.

Now, not every case of hammertoes will require surgery—if the deformity and pain are less severe, a combination of non-invasive methods may be employed to minimize your pain and keep you comfortable and mobile despite the hammertoe’s presence. If conservative treatments are an option for you, we’ll make sure you’re informed—we will NEVER rush anyone into an unnecessary surgery.

However, if you’re in a lot of pain and conservative treatments aren’t cutting it, you’ll probably just want to get it fixed. Good news—we can help you with that too!

Hammertoe surgery is the only way to straighten a toe again after it’s already gone crooked. Surgery is highly successful on average, with most people very happy with the results, but like any other operation, your odds are the best for a good result with the smallest amount of fuss if you seek treatment as early as possible, before the situation gets really bad.

Hammertoes that remain flexible (that is, the joint can still bend a bit) can sometimes be fixed without cutting any bone at all—just a few tendon transfers to rebalance forces and pull the toe flat again. For more significant cases, we’ll need to trim one or both bones in the joint and put in some pins and needles temporarily to help you heal. It’s true that you may be out of work or driving for a couple of weeks, with reduced activity for perhaps a few months and some residual pain and swelling longer than that. But for the vast majority of patients, that’s a small price to pay for the ultimate benefit—a final, permanent freedom from the daily pain and suffering.

Don’t drag your feet for months while the tips of your toes drag further and further into the bottom of your shoe. If you’re suffering from hammertoe pain, get the help you need from Family Foot & Ankle Center. We have 6 offices in and around Cincinnati (including one in Kentucky) to serve you, so pick up the phone and call 888-689-3317 today.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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