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Hammer Toes: New Minimal Incision Approaches Can Prevent the Usual Scarring and Stitching of Traditi

Hammer Toes: New Minimal Incision Approaches Can Prevent the Usual Scarring and Stitching of Traditional Procedures

When your toes firm up at the joints and can no longer bend, that’s a critical sign you have late-stage hammertoes. Now, all you can do to correct them is undergo surgery to restore flexibility and movement.

Being told you need surgery is often an intimidating thought, but wonderfully, minimally invasive approaches to hammertoe surgery now exist that make the procedure and recovery much easier. Discover from Thomas Rambacher, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA, a board-certified podiatrist at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, the benefits of the new ways to correct advanced hammertoes.

What is minimally invasive surgery?

Minimally invasive foot surgery corrects foot problems by making much smaller incisions than traditional surgery. In traditional open surgery, the surgeon makes an incision that’s big enough for them to see tendons and bones under your skin.

Using X-ray technology and instruments, minimally invasive techniques allow Dr. Rambacher to perform the same surgeries and get the same results without making large incisions. Minimally invasive surgery comes with many advantages, including being able to undergo most surgery with a local anesthetic, nerve block, or sedation instead of general anesthesia.

After minimally invasive hammertoe surgery, you can expect you won’t see the big scars or stitches on your toes that would be visible on open surgery. You’ll barely be able to see any scarring at all from minimally invasive surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery also rarely requires an overnight hospital stay, and you can expect to heal more quickly, with less of a need for pain relief and a lower risk of complications. Best of all, minimally invasive surgery costs less.

Why get minimally invasive surgery on hammertoes?

You should consider surgery on your hammertoes if they’re rigid, which means they’ve moved from hyperflexible to immobile. Once your toes are rigid, conservative treatment can’t help improve them, and it can be difficult or impossible to walk and do everyday activities.

Another reason to consider surgery is when your hammertoes develop open sores. Open sores on top of the hammertoe are a potential complication that can be extremely painful and put you at risk of infection and amputation.

Our team also considers surgery if you’re in severe pain from flexible hammertoes that haven’t responded to other treatments. Surgery is also an option if your hammertoes make wearing shoes impossible.

After hammertoe surgery

Getting hammertoe surgery greatly improves your quality of life. Once you’ve fully recovered from the surgery, you can expect your toes to regain their flexibility and better overall flexibility in your foot.

You’ll have better mobility and a greater range of shoe options. If you were in significant pain before the surgery, you can also expect the pain to be improved or gone.


Late-stage hammertoes can be difficult to cope with, and if more conservative treatments haven’t worked for you, it might be time to consider minimally invasive hammertoe surgery. To schedule your consultation, contact us to make an appointment.

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