Treatment Of Lesser Toe Deformities
The initial treatment of lesser toe deformities should be non-operative. However if this fails and the patient has significant symptoms then surgery should be considered.
The type of surgery depends upon the type of and severity of the deformity.
The surgery can be performed as a Day Case procedure and the operation can be performed under general anaesthetic or local aneasthetic (the patient remains awake)
Soft Tissue correction
If the deformity is correctable then it may be possible to perform a soft tissue procedure and release and re-route tendons to achieve a correction of the toes. The toe will have to be temporarily stabilized with a wire that protrudes out of the skin.
If the deformity cannot be corrected by stretching then a bony correction should be considered. This involves removing a small bit of bone from the toe joint and correcting the toe alignment and stabilizing it with a temporary wire.
After surgery a large dressing will be applied to the foot and you will be placed in a surgical boot and allowed to weight bear immediately.
Depending upon the type of operation you may have temporary wires protruding out of the skin. These are generally removed about 4 weeks after surgery. In most cases the pins are loose by 4 weeks and come out with no discomfort in the clinic.
The boot is removed at 6 weeks after the operation.
Most people find their feet swollen for 3 months after the operation; elevating the foot can reduce swelling.
Complications of Surgery
Forefoot surgery has a complication rate of less than 10%- although only a few of these go on to require further surgery. Complications involve recurrence of deformity, infection, nerve or blood vessel damage. The result of nerve damage is permanent numbness in the toe. In very rare circumstances the blood supply to the toe may be damaged such that it leads to death of the toe and amputation.