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Questions To Ask When Considering Hammer Toe Surgery

If you have foot pain caused by a hammer toe, you may be considering surgery. It can be hard to know what questions to ask your doctor. Here’s a list to help you get the conversation started.
July 28, 2020 | 2 min read
Christa S. Plew, MBA
Editor-in-Chief

Even if you’re experiencing foot pain caused by a hammer toe, the idea of discussing surgery with your doctor can be intimidating. Here are some questions that may be helpful to ask your doctor when considering surgery. You can even print this list and take it with you to your appointment.

About surgery…

1. How do you determine whether or not I’m a candidate for surgery?

2. What would happen if I wait six months? One year?

3. Could my hammer toe get worse?

4. Are there alternative treatments I could try first?

5. Are there different types of surgical procedures to fix a hammer toe? Which is right for me?

6. What are the most common complications and how are they treated?

7. What are the other risks associated with hammer toe correction?

8. What type of anesthesia is used?

9. How many times have you performed this surgery?

10. How involved are you in each surgery? What role do residents play?

11. How long will the incision/scar be?

About recovery…

12. What is the expected recovery time?

13. Will I have to be away from work?

14. How will I feel in one month after surgery? Two months? One year?

15. Will I have to stay overnight at the hospital?

16. Will I need full-time or part-time care? If so, for how long?

17. What type of shoes I should wear, or avoid, after surgery?

About returning to activity…

18. When will I be able to walk after surgery?

19. Will I need crutches or a knee scooter? If so, for how long?

20. When will I be able to drive a car after surgery?

21. When can I shower after surgery?

22. When will I be able to resume normal lifestyle activities (e.g., work, sports, housework, gardening, etc.)?

23. Will I need antibiotics for dental care?

About the implant…

24. Will I have an implant?

25. If so, what is the implant made of?

26. Will I set off metal detectors?

27. Is there a possibility the implants will need to be replaced?

While not an exhaustive list, you can use this as a starting point to open a conversation with your doctor. 

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