— Not an actual patient/physician

What Are the Risks of Hammer Toe Surgery?

Undergoing any surgical procedure comes with potential risks and complications. If you’re considering surgery to correct a hammer toe, here are a few things you should know.
August 11, 2020 | 2 min read
Christa S. Plew, MBA
Editor-in-Chief

Every surgical procedure has a mix of benefits and risks dependent upon your personal circumstances. While there are no guarantees of success, possible benefits of hammer toe correction surgery include pain relief and restore or maintain the ability to walk.1

According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society2, the following are risks and potential complications associated with hammer toe surgery. Consult with your surgeon for risks specific to your procedure.

  • Infection
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Failure of the bone ends to fuse back together
  • Nerve damage
  • Inadequate healing
  • Hammer toe deformity returns
  • Feeling of instability

Ask your surgeon if a fixation implant (medical device) will be used. If so, you may want to ask the following:

  • What is the implant made of?
  • Can it cause an allergic reaction?
  • Will I need additional surgery to remove the implant(s)?
  • Can the implant wear out? Break? Bend?
  • Can implants cause discomfort or pain?
  • If the implant needs to be removed, will there be additional shortening or bone loss?
  • Are there any other risks associated with the implant?
References
  1. Hammertoe Repair (2019, Sep 11) Aetna. http://www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/600_699/0636.html
  2. Hammertoe Surgery (n.d.) American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society FootCareMD. https://www.footcaremd.org/conditions-treatments/toes/hammertoe-surgery
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