Key Takeaways:

  • Hammertoe surgery is a common procedure used to correct the deformity and alleviate pain.
  • After hammertoe surgery, it is important to follow the doctor’s instructions for a successful recovery.
  • Most patients are able to walk normally after hammertoe surgery, but it may take some time to fully regain mobility.
  • Physical therapy and exercises can help with the recovery process and prevent future deformities.
  • It is crucial to wear appropriate footwear and practice good foot hygiene to maintain the results of the surgery.

Hammertoe surgery is a procedure often performed to correct the deformity that causes the toes to bend downward, resembling a hammer. This condition can be uncomfortable and even painful, making it difficult to walk and wear certain types of shoes. In this article, we will discuss what to expect after hammertoe surgery and whether you can walk normally after the procedure.

The Recovery Process

After hammertoe surgery, it is important to follow the doctor’s instructions to ensure a successful recovery. The procedure typically involves making an incision and releasing the tight tendons that are causing the toe deformity. In some cases, the surgeon may need to remove a small piece of bone to straighten the toe.

Immediately after surgery, patients are typically advised to rest and elevate their foot to reduce swelling. Pain medication may be prescribed to manage any discomfort. It is important to keep the surgical area clean and dry to prevent infection. In some cases, the surgeon may recommend wearing a special shoe or walking boot for a certain period of time.

Regaining Mobility

Many patients wonder when they will be able to walk normally after hammertoe surgery. While every individual is different, most patients are able to bear weight on their foot within a few days of the procedure. However, walking normally may take some time and patience.

During the initial stages of recovery, it is common to experience some swelling, discomfort, and stiffness. This can affect the way you walk and move. Gradually, as the foot heals and the swelling subsides, mobility will improve. Physical therapy may be recommended to help regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the foot.

Exercises and Physical Therapy

To facilitate the recovery process and prevent future deformities, it is important to engage in exercises and physical therapy after hammertoe surgery. These exercises are designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the foot, improving overall foot function.

Some common exercises include toe stretches, toe curls, and picking up marbles with the toes. These exercises should be performed under the guidance of a physical therapist and gradually increased in intensity. Regular participation in physical therapy sessions and diligent adherence to the exercise regimen can greatly enhance the recovery process.

Maintaining Results

After hammertoe surgery, it is crucial to take certain precautions to maintain the results of the procedure. Wearing appropriate footwear is essential to prevent the recurrence of the deformity. It is recommended to wear shoes with a wide toe box and good arch support to provide ample space for the toes and reduce pressure.

Practicing good foot hygiene is also important to prevent infections and complications. Regularly wash and dry your feet, paying close attention to the surgical area. It is advisable to avoid activities that put excessive strain on the foot, such as high-impact sports, until the foot has fully healed.


In conclusion, hammertoe surgery can provide significant relief from the discomfort and pain caused by the deformity. While it may take some time to walk normally again, most patients are able to regain mobility with proper care and rehabilitation. Following the doctor’s instructions, engaging in physical therapy, and taking necessary precautions can greatly contribute to a successful recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hammertoe surgery be performed as an outpatient procedure?

Yes, hammertoe surgery is often performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning that patients can typically go home the same day as the surgery. However, this may depend on the specific case and the doctor’s recommendation.

How long does it take to recover from hammertoe surgery?

The recovery time can vary depending on the complexity of the surgery and individual healing capabilities. Generally, it may take several weeks to a few months to fully recover and regain normal mobility.

Are there any risks associated with hammertoe surgery?

As with any surgery, hammertoe surgery carries some risks. These can include infection, nerve damage, swelling, and stiffness. It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor before undergoing the procedure.

Are there non-surgical treatments available for hammertoe?

In some cases, non-surgical treatments, such as wearing orthotic devices or pads, can help alleviate the symptoms of hammertoe. However, these treatments may not correct the deformity and surgery may be necessary for a permanent solution.


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