Hammertoe Correction: What to Expect After Surgery
Hammertoe can only be treated with extra padding or special shoes for so long.
Eventually, many people with curled toes consider hammertoe surgery for permanent pain relief.
Nobody wants to have surgery. But it’s often the best way to get back to wearing your favorite shoes and living your life.
If you’re considering hammertoe surgery, you’re not alone.
Here’s a quick guide to recovery and what to expect after the operation:
How Long Does Recovery Take?
The length of your recovery is dependent on the type of procedure you have and your personal circumstances.
You may start feeling better after a few days. Full healing may take between 2 and 6 weeks.
How Can I Aid Recovery?
You can’t speed up the recovery process. But you can make it easier.
Swelling is common after surgery.
Try the RICE method to combat inflammation.
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.
You’ll also have a bandage on your foot as well as stitches. Avoid getting the bandage wet and do your best to keep it clean.
Finally, you may be given a prescription for pain medication. If not, you can take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen.
Be sure to take these as directed – NEVER take a higher dosage than recommended by the manufacturer.
Will I Be Able to Walk?
It’s also helpful to limit the movement you need to do. Get up and walk around. Go to the bathroom. But don’t go too far until 2 to 3 days after your surgery.
Get up and walk around. Go to the bathroom. But don’t go too far until 2 to 3 days after your surgery.
Generally, you shouldn’t put weight on your foot for a few days. And only do so if it doesn’t cause pain.
In some cases, you’ll be given crutches or a cane to help you get around for a few days up to a few weeks. The length of time depends on the surgery you have, the number of toes operated on, and the healing process.
You’ll also be given a special shoe for the healing foot to increase mobility and support healing.
Are There Complications?
Complications related to hammertoe surgery are similar to other operations. Infection, bleeding, and damage to blood vessels are nerves are all potential complications.
If you are given general anesthesia, you also assume those risks.
Issues related to the specific surgery are rare. But there is a chance your toe will feel unstable because the procedure requires cutting the ligaments.
There is also a slight likelihood the hammertoe will come back.
Finally, if the surgeon fuses the bone in the toe back together, there is a small chance the bone might not heal.
When Should I Call a Doctor After Hammertoe Surgery?
Here are a few good reasons to ring your doctor after surgery:
- If the wound is bleeding or there’s drainage
- If the swelling increases after a few days
- If pain medication isn’t helping
- If you have a fever
Hammertoe is a painful problem with a straightforward solution. If you’re ready to straighten your toes and live pain-free, contact us today.