What is a hallux hammer toe?
- Hallux for the big toe
- Malleus for a hammer
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This deformity is treat initially with padding techniques to prevent sores from developing at the tip of the toe. Custom, soft, accommodation orthoses are sometimes prescribed for the patient to provide cushioning and also to prevent worsening of the deformity.
If conservative treatment fails, surgery is indicated. Surgery usually consists of performing a bone fusion of the 2 bones in the great toe. This can be done with screws, staples, or wire fixation.
Symptoms of Hallux Malleus “hammer toe”?
People with a hallux hammertoe may have irritation at the top of the big toe joint or at the tip of the toe if the deformity is severe. People with neuropathy or diabetes may even develop a wound at either location.
What is the nonsurgical treatment for a hallux hammertoe?
Conservative treatments consist of padding the big toe and wearing shoes with a wide, stretchy toe box to avoid irritation.
What about hallux hammertoe surgery?
If the hallux hammertoe is flexible, a simple tendon release may be recommended. If the deformity is rigid, either a joint fusion or joint resection (arthroplasty) may be performed to straighten the big toe. The type of the procedure recommended largely depends on the patient activity level and any associated health problems.
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Usually after the procedure, weight bearing in a removable cast boot is permitted and the duration is up to around 6 weeks in the case of a joint fusion.