Toes that are bent or buckled hurt when you put them into shoes. Parts of the toe can rub against shoes making areas of hard skin, known as corns. These can be reduced by your podiatrist, but will never resolve unless the toe is straightened. Changing the shoe to keep pressure off the toes might not be possible depending on how severe the toe is buckled.
The treatment differs based on the stiffness of the bent toe. Smaller toes such as the 4th or 5th that can be straightened by hand often can be treated by simple tendon release. This is the easiest hammertoe surgery to recovery from often requiring a single stitch. If more than one toe is done at a time the recovery can be slightly longer.
If the bend in the toe cannot be straightened by hand, removal of the rigid joint is performed. At Geller Podiatry we employ a detailed step-wise approach to straighten all parts of the toe. The more deformed the toe, the more steps will be used from simply fusing the toe joint straight to breaking the metatarsal head and repositioning the entire toe. Tight skin has to be lengthened using plastic surgery techniques so that the toe can stay straight and the scar is more cosmetic. In general these procedures require protection from walking using a cast boot. X-rays are used to follow the toe healing process and you will be returned to shoes when your doctor sees evidence of bone healing.