Hammertoe Surgery: What You Need to Know


Patient eligible for hammertoe surgery in Milwaukee

Contact our caring podiatrists to discuss the best treatment for your hammertoes.

Milwaukee Surgical Podiatrists & Orthopedic Surgeon Relieve Hammertoe Pain

Hammertoe surgery may be the best option for patients who are still in pain after trying non-invasive hammertoe treatments.

Patients with hammertoes often have other toe problems, such as bunions or corns. Our surgical podiatrists are highly experienced in both surgical and non-operative treatments for all types of toe pain, and will design an effective treatment plan for the overall health of your feet and toes.

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Hammertoe Surgery Procedure

Hammertoes are caused by an imbalance in the muscle with the tendons on the top and bottom of the toe. Hammertoe surgery corrects the imbalance so the toe can straighten.

Hammertoe surgery is typically an outpatient procedure. It can be done with local anesthesia with or without sedation, or under full anesthesia.

Surgery for flexible hammertoes

If the toe is still flexible, a tendon transfer from the bottom to the top of the toe can help straighten the bent joint. The joint is preserved and you’ll probably be able to bend your toe after the surgery.

Surgery for rigid hammertoes

Surgical options for stiff, inflexible hammertoes include fusion (bone mending) or joint resection (arthroplasty).

Joint resection means removing one of the ends of the bone at the small joint where the toe is crooked (not at the joint where the toe meets the foot).


Woman walking on beach with dog after hammertoe surgery recovery

Hammertoe surgery relieves painfully curled toes so you can enjoy your favorite activities again.

With fusion, both ends of the bone at the hammertoe joint are cut and as it heals they fuse together.

In both procedures, tendons and ligaments are cut to allow the toe to straighten, and pins or a screw may be used to keep the bones steady during healing. After recovery, you’ll be able to bend your toe where it meets the foot, but not at the little joint.

Is hammertoe surgery successful?

Hammertoe surgery is generally very successful. In our experience, 90% of patients have significant reduction in pain and would recommend the procedure to others.

What is the recovery time for hammertoe surgery?

Your exact recovery time will depend on the type of hammertoe surgery and your overall health, but in general a full recovery after hammertoe surgery takes about six weeks.

In any case, you’ll need to avoid putting weight on your foot at first, and should try to keep it elevated for the first two weeks to relieve pressure. Your doctor may recommend a special shoe or crutches for the recovery period.

How much does hammertoe surgery cost?

The cost of hammertoe surgery varies based on the type of hammertoe surgery you need, and whether there are any other issues affecting the health of your toes.

Our foot doctors and billing support department will work with you to minimize costs and can help you with patient financing options for any out of pocket expenses.

Is hammertoe surgery covered by insurance?


After hammertoe surgery with straight healthy toes

Hammertoe surgery can help straighten your toes even if other treatments have failed.

If hammertoe surgery is determined to be medically necessary it’s usually covered by insurance (or Medicare, or Medicaid). Our podiatrists accept insurance from many different providers and we’re happy to do an insurance coverage check for hammertoe surgery on your next appointment.

Hammertoe Surgery Complications

As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications such as infection, nerve damage or a blood clot with hammertoe surgery.

There is also a possibility your toe curls up again after the surgery, though reoccurrence is rare. Whether or not you’ll be able to bend your toe after hammertoe surgery depends on the type of procedure done.

Best Hammertoe Surgery in Milwaukee

Advanced Foot and Ankle of Wisconsin has five clinic locations in and around Milwaukee, and we have relationships with ten area hospitals to ensure our patients receive the highest possible level of care.

Our team of doctors includes surgical podiatrists an an orthopedic surgeon committed to putting the care back into patient care. If you suffer from tight, painful hammertoes and conservative treatments haven’t helped, schedule an appointment with our foot doctors today to discuss surgical options.

Contact a podiatrist online to book an appointment or request more information.