Recovering from Hammertoe Surgery

There’s usually both an easy and a hard way of doing things. It is certainly possible to walk from California to New York, but it is much faster and less painful to take a plane. The same principle applies to recovering from surgery. After your hammertoe has been treated, you can ignore the postsurgical instructions and possibly cause greater pain for yourself, or you can follow the postsurgical instructions and have an easier recovery. We want you to know what to expect following surgery so that you can choose the easy road.

A Glimpse at Hammertoe Surgery

Hammertoe surgery is an outpatient procedure that sometimes becomes necessary after conventional treatments have proven ineffective. There are a couple different techniques, depending on whether your toe is flexible or fixed, but the end result is the same—a straightened toe that functions as it should.

Planning for Your Recovery

After the procedure is over, you will not be able to jump back into your normal day-to-day activities right away, so it is best to plan ahead. Recovery times vary, but know that you may need to schedule time off of work. Recouping from the surgery entails keeping your foot elevated for the first couple of days and this may mean lying on your couch or bed during that time.

Before your procedure, review your schedule at work and in your personal life. Make sure that your responsibilities for a couple of weeks are delegated so that you can focus on your recovery. Rest is an important component of getting better, so leave the work to others.

Listen to Your Doctor

You will be given post-surgical instructions from Dr. Harvey Danciger, DPM, and following his directions will help lead to an easy, successful recovery. Your toes will be bandaged to keep them in place and it is important that you maintain these bandages and keep them dry.

Keeping weight off of your affected foot is key to recovering and you might be given a postsurgical boot, shoe, or even crutches to use. Be sure to use these tools as directed because they are intended to avoid putting weight on your healing foot.

Rest, ice, and elevation will be part of your post-surgery regimen. This is necessary to alleviate symptoms, keep swelling at a minimum, and decrease stress on your foot.

Footwear Choices Aren’t Always Based on Fashion

You will only need to wear your postoperative boot or shoe for a certain timeframe, as established by Dr. Harvey Danciger, DPM. After you are no longer required to do so, choose shoes that are wide and flat. Make sure the toe boxes have plenty of room so your toes are not squished together, and the shoes have flat, sturdy soles for your safety.

High heels should be avoided entirely while recovering from surgery. (Sorry, ladies.)

Getting Back on the Horse…Slowly

Keep in mind that you have just undergone a medical procedure and it will take some time before your body is back to its normal state. Even when the swelling and pain has subsided, your toes may not be ready for heavy stress. Pay close attention to any unusual discomfort or pain and make follow-up appointments as necessary.

If you are an athlete, your training will need to resume gradually. It will take time to get back into your regimen, and that’s normal. Do not rush it.

Life is choices. It is up to you whether you want to follow these simple steps and have an easy recovery, or deviate from the plan and have a difficult, painful road ahead of you. It would be a shame to go through surgery and end up with greater pain and discomfort because you chose to ignore proper postoperative instructions.

If you need hammertoe surgery or are struggling in the wake of one, call Dr. Harvey Danciger, DPM for help. Our office is conveniently located in Palm Desert, CA, and we provide exceptional care and treatment for all of our patients. Make an appointment today by calling (760) 568-0108 or request one online.

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Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle