Bandaged toe with problems

Failed Hammertoe Surgery: Causes, Complications, and Solutions

Table of Contents

No matter how experienced a doctor is or how routine the procedure, every surgery poses a certain amount of risk and fails from time to time, so here is everything you should know about and expect from a failed hammertoe surgery, from potential causes and complications to how to fix them. 

Failed Hammertoe Surgery

What Is a Hammertoe Surgery?

A hammertoe surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that fixes the claw toe or mallet toe deformity, where a toe is bent and stuck at a certain angle. The surgery helps the toe straighten and get back to its natural position. The surgeon will give you a local anesthetic before making a small incision on the tight tenon, allowing the toe to straighten. It’s a routine outpatient procedure that lasts for half an hour and has a high success rate of 80-90%. 

Who Is the Best Candidate for the Procedure?

Anyone suffering from a hammertoe deformity is a suitable candidate for the procedure, no matter if it’s causing them foot pain or not. A toe deformity as severe as this one can lead to bigger issues down the line, even if it’s not causing any pain or discomfort in the beginning. So, make sure to visit a doctor if you experience this issue. 

Is Failed Hammertoe Surgery Common Occurrence

A hammertoe surgery gone wrong is not a very common occurrence, as the procedure has an incredibly high success rate of 80-90%. However, there are cases where the surgery fails due to various reasons.  

What Are the Common Causes of Failed Hammertoe Correction

There are countless reasons why a hammertoe surgery can fail; sometimes, it has nothing to do with the doctor, and other times it’s because a wrong diagnosis has been made, the wrong method has been used, or the surgery simply wasn’t performed properly. 

Foot with hammer toe in a pool

What Are Complications and Challenges After Failed Hammertoe Surgery

Hammertoe surgery is a minimally invasive procedure with minimal risks. However, several complications and challenges can arise in case of a failed surgery. The most common complication is a floating toe – a deformity that causes the toe to point upwards, without the possibility to naturally rest on the ground. A floating toe can either be floppy or rigid, but it will cause discomfort either way. 

In some cases, you may not be able to bend your toes, and in other cases, a failed hammertoe surgery simply didn’t fix the issue. You may also develop other surgery-related complications such as: 

  • An infection, 
  • Excessive bleeding, 
  • Nerve damage,
  • Blood clots,
  • Bone shortening, and so on. 

What Is the Best Solution for Failed Hammertoe Surgery?

A failed hammertoe surgery usually requires another revision surgery that will fix the complication, especially in case you develop a floating toe or other toe deformity. If you notice any irregularities after surgery, make sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor and have it checked out. 

Consult the Foot Specialist in Miami and Find Out What Are Your Options

If you want to find a reliable doctor and reduce your chances of having a failed hammertoe surgery, contact us and schedule an appointment with our surgeon at the Luxe Foot Surgery clinic in Miami. Our team of doctors will not only make sure you get the best care possible but also talk you through the procedure and warn you about any potential complications. 


Why Can’t I Bend My Toes After Hammer Toe Surgery?

If you can’t bend your toes after hammertoe surgery, that means the surgery was not completely successful, and you have developed a toe deformity where your toes have become stiff and point upwards and can’t be forced to stay flat on the ground. 

What Is the Success Rate of Hammertoe Surgery?

Hammertoe surgery has a very high success rate of around 80-90%. 



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