Hammer toe is a condition where a toe can become deformed when the middle joint bends in a way that makes the toe curl instead of pointing forward properly. In some cases, hammer toe can be treated by making simple changes, such as wearing the proper footwear. But in serious cases of hammer toe, surgery may be necessary in order to correct the condition. If your podiatrist suggests surgery to correct a hammer toe, it can be helpful to know what to expect. Use the following tips to help you successfully recover after having surgery to correct a hammer toe:
Keep Your Foot Elevated
When you get home after having hammer toe surgery, it is in your best interest to keep your foot elevated as much as possible for a few days. Doing so will help promote healing while also minimizing swelling in your foot. For the first couple of days after your surgery, try to limit your mobility as much as possible and get a lot of rest. It can be very helpful to make arrangements to have a family member or friend available to assist you with daily tasks.
As your foot begins to heal, you will be able to walk for short amounts of time. When you first begin walking, make sure that you put the majority of your weight on your heel, not your toes. You will most likely be given crutches to use after surgery; if you experience significant pain or discomfort when trying to walk unassisted, use your crutches. Putting too much pressure on your foot too soon can lead to complications and make your recovery period longer. It is important to note that while you may begin to walk shortly after surgery, it may be several weeks before your podiatrist clears you to begin driving your vehicle again.
Keep Your Bandage Dry and Clean
Your foot will need to be bandaged for several weeks after surgery. Your podiatrist will instruct you when to change your bandage. While your foot is bandaged, it is very important to keep the bandage clean and as dry as possible. Take special care when showering/bathing to help prevent your bandage from getting wet. As your foot is healing, bay careful attention to any signs of infection in the incision site, such as swelling, redness, pus, or extreme pain. If you suspect infection, it is important to contact your podiatrist as soon as possible.