Who would have known that this is such a common problem for both women and men? The most common name used in public is the classic “hammertoe”, but in reality, a long toe that is pushed back into the foot with a shoe that is too short will bend upward at the toe joint to form the quintessential hammer toe position.
This patient had a unique presentation – not only a short 3rd toe, but the 4th was also a little longer (the end was rubbing on her dress shoes) than usual in comparison to the 5th toe.
As you can see on the x-rays, it’s really a short bone (proximal phalanx) at the base of the third toe on both feet.
New surgical equipment and ‘toe spacers’ are available to lengthen the 3rd toes and then a simple bone resection and absorbable pin placement on the 4th left toe was utilized to get the proper length and aesthetic line of all four toes after the surgery.
The final x-ray shows the work and outcome described above.
The sutures are removed at 2 weeks and incisions will be healed and ready to return to shoes shortly after.
Below is the surgical technique – WARNING graphic material.
The procedure is performed with a tourniquet to prevent blood loss as well as to maximize the best visualization of structures during this technique.