For more information on surgical techniques, please see American Podiatric Medical Association site, Scanner site, Foot Doctors.
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Deformities of the toes, which cause them to become misshapen or enlarged over the joints, are common. The deformity can affect either the 1st or 2nd toe joints. If it is in the last toe joint in the toe it is called mallet toe. If it is in the first joint of the toe it is a hammer toe. Sometimes the deformity is only caused by an imbalance in the soft tissues (tendons) and in these cases the correction may be simpler.

A range of procedures is available to correct misshapen and over long toes. After careful examination, your surgical options will be given to you, occasionally it might also be necessary to consider changes in footwear.

The operations possible include:-

Simple removal of a piece of bone an excision arthroplasty.

Excision of a piece of bone and the insertion of a small silicone joint. This would give greater stability.

Removal of a small section of one of the bones a condylectomy.

The rasping down of bone to prevent the formation of small corns, usually between the toes (an osteotripsy).

Releases or lengthening of tendons to improve toe alignment. Sometimes a tendon will be transferred to alter its action.

Toe procedures can usually be done under local anaesthetic and walking is immediate, although two or three days rest is required and a post-operative shoe will need to be worn for a few weeks. Complications can include:-

1. Swelling.

2. Recurrence.

3. Infection

4. Numbness.