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Signs It's Time To Schedule Hammertoe Surgery

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When you are diagnosed with hammertoe, it is typical for your doctor to tell you surgery is an option, but only when you're ready. Hammertoe surgery is the only permanent way to fix hammertoe. However, since it comes with a significant recovery time, people often delay surgery until the condition actually starts to bother them. So how do you know when that time has come? Watch out for these signs that you're ready for hammertoe surgery.

You're having discomfort even with a splint.

There are splints you can wear to prevent your hammertoe from rubbing on your shoe and causing you discomfort when you walk. But when these splints stop working and you have discomfort even with a split, that's a sign you should consider hammertoe surgery. If you continue walking and standing on your foot even though it is painful, your body will compensate in different ways. You may, for instance, start walking more on your heels. This can lead to other issues later on, so it's often best to have hammertoe surgery and address the problem at its source.

Your gait is affected.

Do you find that you take shorter steps with the foot that has hammertoe? Maybe you limp a little at the end of a long day, or perhaps a friend or family member has told you that you're walking differently. People with early-stage hammertoe don't usually find that their gait is impacted, so when your gait does start to change, this means it's time to start thinking of surgery.

You're getting corns and sores on the toe.

Often, the top of the bent toe will rub on your shoe, leading to blisters and calluses. Minor issues in this regard can be corrected with a splint. However, if you are developing more serious corns and sores on your toe, perhaps even though you are wearing a splint, this is a sign you need to consider surgery. Corns and sores may not seem like a big deal, but they can eventually become infected, so it's best not to ignore them.

Hammertoe surgery will involve cutting and stretching the ligaments that are making your toe contract and bend. Although you will have to spend a few weeks off your feet post-surgery, you'll feel a lot better once you are recovered.

Talk to your doctor to learn more about hammertoe surgery and find out if you're a good candidate.