Toe Straightening Surgery – Intrusive But Effective

Perils of Poor Shoe Choices(Image by jfinnirwin via Flickr)

No one is enthused by the idea of undergoing a surgical procedure.  Most people deal with anxiety and are apprehensive of 'going under the knife', but a toe straightening surgery can be the most effective way of resolving issues with crooked toes.

Some types of toe deformities are genetic.  Others are a result of wearing those tight shoes, or those fashionable high heel shoes.  Tight shoes constrict your feet and toes into an unnatural position.  If you consult with a podiatrist, they will most likely discuss a change in your footwear that will stop the progression of damage.  No matter if you undergo a surgical procedure or non-surgical method of correcting your toe deformities, you should pay attention to your choice of footwear

A typical toe straightening surgery will last approximately 1 hour, and involve general or local anesthesia.  This often occurs for crooked toe conditions, like hammer toe, claw toe, or where toes are crossed.  The knuckle of the toe is typically cut, allowing a small portion of the knuckle to be removed.  Then a small pin will often be inserted for approximately 1 month to hold the toe straight.  Sometimes tendons need to be cut or lengthened to straighten the toe.

After a toe straightening surgery, you can expect some numbness and swelling for a while.  The toe may feel stiff for a while as well.  Swelling can persist for several months.  Massaging the toes a few times per day can help to decrease this swelling.  Mild to moderate pain can be experienced for several days after the surgery.  Medication prescribed by the surgeon can help to mitigate this pain.  Toe straightening surgery recovery time varies depending upon the specifics of the procedure.  In general, you should expect to be off of your feet for several days, although some patients may be able to walk on the ball of their foot the following day.  As far as driving goes, if the procedure was on your left foot, then you should not expect to drive for at least 4 days.  If the procedure was on your right foot, you should expect to not drive for approximately 4 weeks.  You will be able to start wearing sneakers in approximately 4 weeks, and start exercising (under direction) in about the same timeframe.

Ask lots of questions of your physician and your surgeon so that you know exactly what to expect for your procedure and your recovery time.  This may help you to have your expectations for recovery.  It may help you to adequately set and allow you to avoid being dissatisfied like the following patient expressing their dissatisfaction with their procedure on StudyHealth.com...

Please think really long and hard about this surgery. I had both feet done almost two weeks ago, and I think this was the worst decision I have ever made in my life. I have had two kids, tatoo's and other purposeful painful procedures, this tops them all!!! I can't walk, or help my kids with out excruciating pain. They are terribly swollen and bruised. I can't drive and forget sleep. This sucks!!! I just want you all to consider other ways to relieve hammer toe pain. I know they are ugly to look at as well. But, I can tell you first hand, my toes aren't that much better looking now, honestly, worst mistake of my life!!! They have over the counter toe straighteners really cheap, check out ebay. They have plenty. I hope you who take the time to read this before you are in a great deal of pain like me, decide not to proceed with surgery. Seriously, you may never wear heeels or cute shoes again! That is just not fair. My doctor said " In a couple weeks, you can wear any shoes you want, it's really not a big deal." WHAT A LIAR!!!!! Hope this helps... More at Hammertoe surgery on both feet - StudyHealth.com

You can watch the following video to see what occurs during a toe straightening surgery.  This video is not for those who are squeamish of surgical procedures, and shows incisions being made and cutting of bone.  Proceed with caution...

Toe straightening surgery cost can vary as well, depending upon the type of procedure that is required.  We have read where this can cost several thousand dollars per toe, so hopefully you have insurance that will cover the procedure.  If you are insured, then hopefully you can get away with only paying your co-pays, co-insurance, or amount required to meet your deductible.