Hammer toe repair - dischargeOsteotomy - hammer toe
You had surgery to repair your hammer toe.
- Your surgeon made an incision (cut) in your skin to expose your toe joint and bones.
- Your surgeon then repaired your toe.
- You may have a wire or pin holding your toe joint together.
- You may have swelling in your foot after surgery.
Self-care at Home
Keep your leg propped up on 1 or 2 pillows for the first 2 - 3 days to decrease swelling. Get up only to use the bathroom.
If it does not cause pain, you will be allowed to put weight on your foot 2 or 3 days after surgery. You can use crutches until the pain lessens. Make sure you put weight on your heel but not on your toes.
Most patients wear a shoe with a wooden sole for about 4 weeks. After that, your doctor may advise you to wear a wide, deep, soft shoe for up to 4 - 6 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions.
You will have a bandage on your foot that will be changed about 2 weeks after surgery, when your stitches are removed.
- You will have a new bandage for another 2 - 4 weeks.
- Make sure to keep the bandage clean and dry.Take sponge baths or cover your foot with a plastic bag when you take showers. Make sure water cannot leak into the bag.
If you have a wire (Kirschner or K-wire) or pin, it:
- Will stay in place for 2 - 3 weeks
- Is usually not painful
- Will be easily removed in your surgeon's office
To care for the wire:
- Keep it clean and protected by wearing a sock and your orthopedic boot.
- Once you can shower and get your foot wet, dry the wire well afterward.
For pain, you can you can buy these pain medicines without a prescription:
- Ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin)
- Naproxen (such as Aleve or Naprosyn)
- Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol)
If you use pain medicine:
- Talk with your health care provider before using these medicines if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, or have had stomach ulcers or bleeding.
- Do not take more than the amount recommended on the bottle.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your health care provider or surgeon if you:
- Have bleeding from your wound
- Increased swelling around the wound, wire, or pin
- Pain that does not go away after you take pain medicine
- Notice a bad smell or pus coming from the wound, wire, or pin
- Have a fever
Call 9-1-1 if you:
- Have trouble breathing
- Have an allergic reaction
Ishikawa SN, Murphy GA. Lesser toe abnormalities In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds.Campbell'sOperative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2007:chap 80.
Review Date: 7/14/2012
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.