A Simple Alternative To Traditional Hammertoe Surgery

A hammertoe can be defined as a bend, or contracture  in the toe.  I want to talk today about a procedure that can be done in the office setting to help avoid the traditional hammertoe surgery.


Hammertoe deformities can be defined as a flexible or rigid type.  A rigid hammertoe does not allow the toe to straighten, even with applied force.  Often this type of deformity will require a more formal hammertoe surgical correction.  If you are suffering from a flexible hammertoe, a simple in office type procedure may be right for you.

Often times when patients have a flexible hammertoe, they will develop a sore on the top or end of their toe.  When your toe is contracted at the joint just behind the nail plate (as depicted in the picture below), a sore can develop on the tip of the toe.  This is especially true in the diabetic population.  This problem can be corrected by a simple in office procedure called a flexor tenotomy.


Let’s talk about this procedure in more detail.  When the toe starts to contract, there is an imbalance between the pull of the tendons on the top of the toe (extensor tendons) and on the bottom of the toe (flexor tendons).  The flexor tendon on the bottom of the toe is often times responsible for the contracted toe, and therefore is the tendon that is released in this procedure.

This is a simple procedure done under local anesthesia in the office setting which requires only a pin-point needle hole to cut and release the contracted tendon.  A small bandage is applied in the office which is later converted into a band-aid by the patient.  Basically there is no down time associated with this procedure and the patient can begin showering that evening.

This is a great alternative to traditional hammertoe surgery if you have a flexible hammertoe deformity.  Also if you are developing a sore on the tip of the toe, this procedure is especially right for you.

For more information about this procedure, please contact our physicians at 314-434-7430 or an appointment can be made online by clicking on this link.  Woodlake Podiatry is located conveniently in Chesterfield, MO (St. Louis County).


Dr. Leland Jaffe is a Podiatrist for Woodlake Podiatry.  He has been practicing podiatric medicine since 2008.  He has extensive surgical training in both elective  and reconstructive foot and ankle related surgeries.  Dr. Jaffe is an associate of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

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