If you want to have pretty toes and feet, toe shortening surgery could help

Hammer Toe Lengthening Surgery

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Hammertoe is a common condition that can cause discomfort and pain and negatively affect the appearance of the feet. One efficient way to correct this deformity is undergoing hammer toe lengthening surgery (FDL tendon transfer). Read on if you wish to discover more about this hammertoe surgery option and find out if you can be a good candidate for it.

What Is a Hammer Toe Lengthening Surgery?

A hammertoe tendon transfer (FDL tendon transfer), also known as tendon release, is a surgical treatment that reroutes the tendon from beneath a hammertoe. It’s one of the hammertoe treatment options where this tendon gets a new path – along the top of the patient’s toe. Rather than bending the toe, the rerouted tendon acts as a corrective force, lengthening the affected toe and assisting it into perfect alignment.

Who Is the Best Candidate for It?

This type of procedure can only be performed if your condition is still in the beginning stages and you have a flexible hammertoe. For rigid hammertoes, other surgical options, such as joint resection and fusion, are much better solutions. If you’re not certain if you’re a good candidate for a hammertoe tendon transfer, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with an experienced surgeon and find out. 

How Long Is the Recovery Process?

Initial hammertoe surgery recovery is expected to last for eight weeks if the surgeon has used a hammertoe tendon transfer technique. Keep in mind that tendon transfer is the simplest solution for a hammertoe deformity, so implies the shortest recovery time compared to other surgical techniques. However, you will still need to retain from harder physical activities – it’s recommended to wait between three and six weeks before you can walk or even stand for long periods. Some doctors may even recommend toe exercise after hammertoe surgery so you can improve joint mobility and strengthen toe muscles.

When Are the Results Visible?

The results from a hammertoe tendon transfer should be visible right after the surgery. However, keep in mind that the surgical wound will be dressed and that you’re likely to experience swelling and bruising. You’ll be able to see results more completely upon your first examination when your doctor should remove the dressing and examine the recovery progress. 

A woman wearing a post-operative shoe

What Is the Average Cost of Hammer Toe Lengthening Surgery?

In most cases, hammertoe deformity can only be fixed with the help of surgical procedures, which makes many want to know more about hammertoe surgery costs. On average, you’ll need to pay $4,200 for this procedure. However, keep in mind that the exact price depends on many different factors. On the other hand, if you’re a good candidate for FDL tendon transfer, note that it should cost you less than other hammertoe surgery options. 

What Factors Affect the Price?

As mentioned above, the price of hammertoe surgery may be affected by the severity of your condition and, therefore, the type of surgery performed. However, note that even the price of the same technique can vary. For example, the cost of the FDL tendon transfer may differ depending on the location of the clinic, the surgeon’s experience and expertise, and so on. It’s always the best solution to discuss the specific details of the surgery, including any costs, with the clinic before you finally make a decision.

Is the Procedure Covered by Insurance?

Whether the FDL tendon transfer is covered by insurance depends on whether your condition is seen as medically necessary by your doctor. If you’re experiencing pain, or if the condition is affecting your foot health or balance, a hammertoe surgery may be deemed necessary and should be covered by insurance. However, if you wish to undergo this surgery for purely aesthetic reasons, then the cost of the surgery will be on you. In any case, we strongly advise you to communicate with your insurance provider to avoid any misunderstandings down the road. 

Schedule Hammer Toe Lengthening Surgery With the Best Surgeon in Miami

If you think you’re a good candidate for the minimally invasive FDL tendon transfer, you should book an appointment with experts in cosmetic foot surgery to determine your next course of action. That being said, keep in mind that the experienced Luxe Foot Surgery team is here for all your inquiries – all you have to do is contact us and schedule your free consultation. 


How Painful Is Hammer Toe Surgery?

Because the patients are given local anesthesia, the surgery itself should not be painful. However, you will likely experience pain after hammertoe surgery, which should be successfully managed by pain medicine prescribed by your doctor. If not, don’t hesitate to contact the clinic and have a doctor examine your toe.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Hammer Toe Surgery?

The recovery time after hammertoe surgery depends on the type of surgery performed, as well as the surgeon’s expertise and your overall health. Although each person recovers at their own pace, the recovery time is expected to last between several weeks and several months. Keep in mind that full recovery may take up to a whole year, during which you may need to undergo physical therapy.

Is Hammer Toe Surgery Worth It?

Hammertoe surgery can help you get rid of pain and discomfort caused by this foot deformity, which will undoubtedly improve your quality of life – not to mention that your feet will become more aesthetically appealing. Although there is always a chance of hammertoe recurring, keep in mind that hammertoe surgery has a very high success rate. 

How Long Is Recovery From Toe Lengthening Surgery?

Toe-lengthening surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, but it may imply a relatively long recovery time. Usually, it takes around six weeks for the operated bone to heal, while the recovery should be completed within twelve weeks after the surgery.


  1. Foot & Ankle Center of Arizona. “Tendon Transfer for Hammertoe (FDL tendon transfer).” https://arizonafoot.com/tendon-transfer-for-hammertoe-fdl-tendon-transfer/
  2. Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle. “Hammertoe surgery.” https://esfootankle.com/hammertoe-surgery/
  3. My Health Alberta. “Surgery for Hammer Toe: What to Expect at Home.” https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=zu2053
  4. Healthline. “Hammer toe Surgery: What to Expect.” https://www.healthline.com/health/hammer-toe-surgery#cost
  5. Yorkshire Foot Hospital. “Toe Lengthening Surgery.” https://www.yorkshirefoothospital.co.uk/conditions/toe-lengthening/


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