Hi, this is Dr. Silvester.
Today, I'm going to talk to you about a condition we see every day that creates in some patients a lot of problems and that's
hammertoes. Hammertoes are when the toe curls of the at the joints and sometimes, it can involve the joint where the toe attaches to the foot and the end of the toe starts being the weight-bearing surface sometimes. We've had a lot of people that have had ulcers from diabetes on the ends of their toes.
Traditional hammertoe surgery has been truthfully somewhat of a nightmare there are open procedures that they do where they cut the toe or remove a bunch of bone and put some implants in to try and get it to stay stable or drive a pin through it. All of those are surgeries that I've done many times in the past and they work but the problem with them is they require a pretty extensive recovery and so when you do that to a patient they're out of work for three or four weeks waiting for their toe to heal.
There are some alternatives that have recently become available that can be done with a needle. A percutaneous tenotomy, if properly applied to the
right toe, can provide you with a fairly straight toe in a fairly quick period of time and you can return to work in like three, four days full time. It's
more like a shot than a surgery.
We've been doing these now for probably about a year here at the Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic and really we haven't gone back to the traditional hammertoe surgeries because the results have been so overwhelmingly positive --most of our patients are extremely happy. If we have an ulcer on the end of the toe that heals up almost right away they can usually wear their shoes in two days. They have to wear a dressing for one or two days and then they take the dressing off if there is a wound they put a bandaid on it most of the time there's not a wound.
So it's a great option for people that have hammertoes that have difficulty with shoe gear and pain or worse yet if they have diabetes and have foot ulcers it's a terrific toe saving device that we've used here at Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic.