What toe conditions will generally require surgery to repair?

There are many food conditions that can require surgery, hammer toe, bunions, and claw toe are some of the more common ones that can affect you.  The severity of each case will determine what is needed to treat it effectively.  If caught early enough it’s possible to treat each issue with non-surgical alternatives.  The decision to have surgery will be determined by how effective other treatments are, the pain level, and how likely it is for the condition to worsen with time.

Is surgery always required to remove bunions?

Many cases of bunions can be managed without surgery.  The key is to visit an expert toe specialist early on.  Since improperly fitting shoes are the leading cause of toe problems, including bunions, the first thing most specialists will do is make sure each patient’s shoes fit correctly.  From there they will try different measures to correct the issue.  If the bunion continues to grow or become more painful, then visiting a toe surgery specialist will be needed. 

What is hammer toe and what type of surgery is needed to treat it?

Hammer toe is a condition where the second, third, or fourth toe becomes bent or crossed, which usually results in the toe pointing in the wrong direction.  Like bunions, hammer toe is most commonly the result of shoes not fitting correctly and many times can be treated with nonsurgical techniques.  If surgery is needed, it is usually done on an outpatient basis and can be performed either by being put under anesthesia or by having the foot numbed by an injection.  There are different types of surgery that are performed depending on the specific issue.  If the hammer toe is flexible then a tendon transfer is the best procedure to have done.  If it has grown stiff or fixed then the surgeon will cut tendons and ligaments right above the joint to straighten the toe.  Another option for fixing hammer toe is to have the tendons or ligaments cut, but can also consist of having the ends of the bone trimmed and/or pins or screws inserted to keep the toe straight. 

How do you know if a broken or fractured toe will require surgery?

If you think your broken or fractured toe will need surgery, seeing a qualified toe surgery specialist is really the only way to be sure.  Many toe fractures or breaks don’t require surgery, but without getting it x-rayed and inspected by an expert, there is no way of knowing.  Even if a fracture is relatively low in pain, it could need help to keep it from becoming an even bigger issue.

What is the typical recovery time following toe surgery?

Toe surgery recovery time completely depends on the procedure being performed.  Surgery for smaller issues such as bunions are usually done as an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient is home the same day.  For larger issues, there may be a short hospital stay.  Since the feet and toes need to bear so much weight and pressure throughout the day, wearing a walking boot, using crutches, or even staying off of it completely could be required.

Where can I find an expert toe surgeon in Utah?

You want to make sure to find an expert toe surgeon to ensure you get a correct diagnosis and treatment is done properly.  Try and find specialists such as Summit Foot and Ankle that have the technology and experience to give you the right diagnosis and care from the beginning.

Interesting Fact:  There are 26 bones in each foot. When you add both feet together (52 bones), this accounts for a quarter of the bones in the human body             

Interesting Fact:  A 2½-inch high heel can increase the load on the forefoot by 75%         

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