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  • The Sefton Suite
    Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Lower Lane
    L9 7AL

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    1 Kenilworth Road
    L23 3AD

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Hammer Toe Surgery

A hammer toe is a deformity that causes the toe to become bent upwards in the middle to resemble a hammer. This problem often occurs in conjunction with other problems of the toe, for example corns on the top of the middle joint.

The first step in treating hammer toe is to address the potential causes, so a change of footwear and padding within the shoe could be tried to try and decrease the size of the toe and the pain. If these treatments don't work then it may be necessary to have surgery.

Several different types of procedure can be used dependant on the flexibility of the hammer toe. If the toe is flexible then a tendon transfer may be the procedure decided upon by your consultant which will involve re-routing the tendons from the bottom of the toe to the top of the toe helping to pull the bent joint back into the correct position.

If the toe is a lot stiffer or fixed then there are a couple of options. Firstly, joint resection may be advised where the tendon is again cut but a small piece of bone is also removed from the top of the toe to allow the toe to straighten easily. Pins are temporarily put into place to keep the toe straight and removed around three weeks after the procedure.

Fusion is the other option where the tendon is again cut with the ends of the bone also cut to straighten the toe with the remaining bone fixed in place by pins or screws to allow the bones to fuse together.

After the procedure you may be given a special shoe to wear to aid with walking with recovery times taking up to three weeks. We would advise to keep the foot raised for the next few weeks and use a walking stick or crutches should they be required. 

Stitches are usually taken out two to three weeks after surgery, and if pins were placed, these will be taken out within a few weeks.

Your consultant will give you a number of strengthening exercises to aid the recovery time and flexibility of the toe. Please do discuss any questions you may have with your consultant prior to the procedure.

This procedure will normally be covered by your medical insurance policy but patients are advised to check with their provider prior to any treatment.

If you are paying for your own treatment all costs will be discussed and explained prior to any treatment taking place. This will be confirmed in writing along with any surgeon fees, anaesthetist fees and hospital charges prior to admission.


The Sefton Suite
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Lower Lane
L9 7AL
Telephone: 0151 330 6551