Hammertoe Surgery Recovery

Hammertoe Surgery Recovery

Table of Contents

Hammertoe is a contracture of the toe joints caused by an imbalance in the tendons and muscles. It develops over time and can affect anyone, but the most common reasons are arthritis, toe injury, and ill-fitting shoes. For anyone preparing for a surgical procedure, read about hammertoe surgery recovery and care.

What Is Hammertoe Surgery Recovery Time?

While this issue can be solved without surgical procedures, they are the best long-term solution. Hammertoe develops over time, can become very painful, and doesn’t go away on its own.

If your doctor recommended a hammertoe surgery, expect to be in recovery for at least six weeks. For some people, the post hammertoe surgery recovery time can be up to six months, depending on their lifestyle and care.

Anyone can expect to start walking again after a few days, but only with the help of a stiff surgical shoe or boot. It’s highly recommended to avoid long-lasting and harsh physical activities. If you live alone, ask friends and family for assistance during the recovery time for hammertoe surgery.

What Should You Expect from Recovery?

When it comes to recovery, expect to rest for long periods. Your doctor will tell you what is the recovery time for hammertoe surgery, how long you’ll need to be in recovery, and how to take care of yourself.

As mentioned, this can take six weeks to six months, but you’ll recover faster if you take precautions and apply adequate care.

You’ll have to keep weight off your foot as much as possible, and sometimes, you’ll have to attend physical therapy to condition and strengthen the foot. 

How to Take Care of Your Scars?

When you leave the hospital, your foot will be bandaged and in a surgical boot. You can remove the boot while at home and likely won’t need to wear the bandages for long, several days at most.

Your doctor will remove the bandage or instruct you to do it at home. Don’t soak the dressing or the incision area; keep it dry as much as possible until your doctor says otherwise.

If you experience swelling, prop your foot on a pillow whenever you sit or lie down; try to keep it above heart level. Use a cold compress or pack for up to 20 minutes. If the pack is freezing, wrap it in a thin cloth.

What Does Long-Term Care Include?

Regarding long-term care, it’s essential to follow up with your doctor and visit whenever you’re asked to go in. Other methods include:

  • Attending physical therapy or gentle exercise classes,
  • Resting when you feel tired,
  • Wearing comfortable shoes; avoid high heels,
  • If a chronic condition causes your hammertoe, ensure you get the correct treatment.

Should You Exercise After the Surgery?

Don’t do high-velocity, strenuous exercises such as running or cycling. Lifting weights is also out of the question because your feet carry all the weight. Give it four to six weeks before trying to exercise again.

After around six weeks, try gentle exercises with a physical therapist; this will help your ankle and foot regain complete mobility, which is vital for long-term joint and foot health.

If you intend to return to exercising one day, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Hurrying and rushing the process will only cause long-term complications, and you might have to rest longer than you wish.

A person sitting on a rock on the beach, with a close-up on their feet
Try not to exercise too hard after hammertoe surgery

Is There a Possibility For Future Surgeries?

With hammertoe, yes, there’s a possibility for future surgeries. Unfortunately, this issue can come back after some time, but that typically happens to 5-10% of patients who have already had one surgical hammertoe procedure.

This can depend on how well you care for yourself, the foot, and the incision area, but it’s likely just genetic. If another surgery is needed, your doctor might recommend a different procedure to help.

Consult With Your Doctor Before the Surgery

If you have painful feet, contact your doctor and ask about potential treatment. At Luxe Foot Surgery, we can help you cure your hammertoe and walk again without any pain or issue.

We perform minimally invasive foot surgery in the office and provide various medical services that improve patients’ health and well-being.

Our doctors will show you how to properly care for your feet before and after surgical procedures and in general. Contact us for more information via a form on our website or phone. We’re open Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to 6 PM and Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM.

A doctor and patient discussing treatment
Ask your doctor anything you’d like to know about the procedure before it happens


How Long Before You Can Walk After Hammertoe Surgery?

After a successful hammertoe surgery, you’ll be able to stand and walk after several days. However, you will have to wear a surgical shoe or boot with a stiff sole, like when spraining an ankle. It’s OK to walk, but try to stay off your feet as much as possible.

How Long Should You Stay Off Your Feet After Hammer Toe Surgery?

Staying off your feet is essential for proper recovery after hammertoe surgery. However, many doctors recommend a combination of physical therapy and plentiful rest. Walk whenever possible, but keep it short and light – you don’t need to be in a marathon immediately.

Stay off your feet as much as you can for around six weeks, and after that, attend physical therapy or expert yoga classes to work on the mobility of your ankles and feet once again.

How Painful Is Hammer Toe Surgery?

It would be impossible to perform minimally invasive surgery without anesthesia. During this procedure, local anesthesia is administered, and there’s no pain while it lasts. You may feel pressure on your toe but nothing else.

When the anesthesia wears off, you’ll experience pain and swelling, which is perfectly normal. Your doctor will prescribe pain medications or even antibiotics. Take them as instructed, and don’t worry about occasional pain – that’s just your body showing signs of recovery.

Is Hammer Toe Surgery Worth It?

This type of surgical procedure is definitely worth undergoing. Hammertoe can be treated without surgery, but those methods only temporarily improve things. Surgery is around 90% successful, doesn’t hurt, and you’ll recover quickly.


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