Tenotomy – A Quick Fix for Hammertoes

Diagram of a hammertoe

A Tenotomy is a procedure to treat hammer, mallet or curly toes. This soft tissue deformity may lead to a painful callus or corn on either the top or tip of the toe, which can often lead to blisters, or ulcerations if left untreated.

This is a minor procedure that is carried out with a local anaesthetic. Once the area is numb, a small needle is introduced to the underside, or the top side of the toe at the location of the flexor or extensor tendon. The needle is then used to sever the tendon, relieving the contracture, which straightens out the toe.

As this is a minimally invasive procedure, most cases will not require any stitches.

Recovery from Tenotomy surgery

This operation is an in-office day procedure, with a quick recovery period.

Weight-bearing is allowed immediately but the foot must be kept elevated as much as possible for the first three days.

This toe is bandaged following the procedure and must be left covered for 3 days. Following the 3 days, dressings may be changed daily to a simple bandage, and normal activity may resume.

Pain following the procedure is minimal and can be managed by over-the-counter painkillers if necessary.

By:  Benjamin Wilkinson B.Sc.Pod (Hons)