For most people, hammertoe surgery complications could be common. Also, depending upon the severity of the condition that has been treated by the surgery, the complications can range from mild to severe.
Before coming to the main segment, let me brief you in what is hammertoe exactly. This condition gets its name from a deformity of the toe that gives it the appearance of a hammer. Basically, the deformed toe gets curled, because of a bend that occurs in the middle joint of the same toe. Usually, certain changes in the footwear is good enough to relieve the painful symptoms of the affected toe. However, if this is not helping, then a surgery might be a proposed idea by a surgeon.
Risks that Hammertoe Surgery Harbors
The most common side effects that may show up post a hammertoe surgery include pain and swelling of the operated site. Another complication may be the regrowth of a bone spur, if this is the reason for the hammertoe. Then comes a complication that may keep the toe from sitting completely on the ground. Also, if the pain radiates to or is felt in other areas of the foot including that of the operated site, then it might be possible that the surgery has caused a nerve damage in the foot. Other complications may be numbness, reduced range of motion, infection, and a long-lasting pain.
The surgery depends on how severe is the condition. If the toe has some kind of flexibility left in it, then the surgery would involve making an incision in the toe, and releasing the contracted tendon. And in case, the toe has become completely inflexible or rigid then, tendons might be realigned, and some bones may be removed. Now it would be beneficial for you to know about some more facts about this condition such as how is it caused, what are its symptoms.
Causes and Symptoms of Hammertoe
The most common cause as it has been determined by doctors in most cases, is related to wearing bad footwear. People who somehow ignore the discomfort of wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe box, and women who fancy wearing high heels, are the ones who stay as the most susceptible group to contract this kind of joint problem. What these kinds of shoes do is, they cause the toes to move into a space that is too small for all the toes to lie flat comfortably, thus causing them to stay in a bent position for too long. This tightens the muscles and contract the tendons.
Hence, with time, as I had mentioned, this causes a bend in the middle joint of a toe thus, this condition. Besides these two causes, other less common reasons for the development of hammertoe may include:
- Heredity factors
- Injury that might break the toe
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Diabetes (causes nerve damage, and hammertoe might be one repercussion)
- Diseases that hinder blood flow to the feet
- Conditions such as arthritis, stroke and other neuromuscular conditions
Starting off with the most common symptoms experience by the affected person, they may include:
- The classic symptom is the appearance of the toe. It sits in a hammer-like or claw-like position
- The toe may be painful to move or when moved
- Due to the odd position of the toe, it keeps rubbing against the inside of the footwear. This causes the formation of corns and calluses. This may also make it difficult to find a pair of shoes that fit.
And to end this treatise on hammertoe surgery risks, for a hammertoe that is still flexible and has not become rigid, merely changing to more comfortable footwear with enough space in the toe box, is good enough. Using orthotics is also recommended, as it may help the toe to reposition, thus alleviating pressure and pain.