When you have hammertoe surgery, you must take precautions to prevent problems afterward. If you are careful, your surgery's outcome will get the greatest success. Sometimes, certain things happen after surgery that may be unexpected or cause concern. Therefore, you must recognize what is normal and abnormal after surgery. Doing so will help with the recovery process. Continue reading to learn more about hammertoe surgery and what to expect afterward.
What Is Hammertoe?
Hammertoe is a condition where the toes bend or buckle up in the middle. Usually, the middle toes are the most affected. It can cause you to have trouble with your shoe's fit. The middle toes may rub up against the top of the shoe and cause calluses and sores. The most common cause of hammertoe is poor-fitting footwear that crowds or crushes the toes.
How Does Hammertoe Surgery Fix the Problem?
Most podiatrists will try to use non-surgical techniques before resorting to surgery. However, if you need surgery, the main goal is to straighten out the toes. The most common way the surgeon does this is with fusion. The surgeon cuts one or both ends of the bones at the joint and puts a pin or rod to keep the toe straight. Some people also benefit from tendon rerouting to keep the toes straightened.
What Happens After Hammertoe Surgery?
After surgery, your doctor may give you a boot to protect your feet. You will need to keep off your foot as much as possible. Make sure you keep the wound clean and change the bandages as needed. Don't be surprised if one or more of your toes swell up. To keep your feet in great shape, don't go back to your old footwear.
When Are Complications a Problem?
With proper care and precautions, you should recover well from your surgery. However, you will need to follow up with your podiatrist regularly. Some wound discharge and pain are normal for the first few weeks. However, see your doctor or podiatrist if you show signs of infection or your wound does not heal. Signs of infection include pus, redness, and fever.
After your surgery, the surgeon will give you a list of aftercare instructions. By following these instructions, you should have the best outcome with the least complications. Post-operative effects could last several months after surgery. Even with the best care, things can happen. Therefore, talk to your podiatrist about any expectations during or after surgery.