Understanding The Pins Used During Hammer Toe Surgery

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Taking Care Of Your Feet

I have always loved my feet, which is probably one of the reasons I started investing so much time into their care. I began focusing on looking after them while I was working out, and it made a big difference in the way that my feet felt. Before I knew it, I was able to do just about any kind of physical activity without pain, and it was really interesting to see how big of a difference visiting with a podiatrist made. My doctor understood what challenges my feet were up against, and he worked hard to help me to resolve them. Check out this blog for more information.

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Understanding The Pins Used During Hammer Toe Surgery

3 October 2017
 Categories: , Blog


If you have a painful hammer toe, then your podiatrist may advise you to go through a hammer toe surgery. This operation is used to straighten the toe so it no longer has an unnatural bend in it. There are a few different types of surgery that can be performed, but the vast majority involve the placement of a pin. Keep reading to learn about why this is necessary and also how and when the pin will be removed.

The Reason For The Pin

Hammer toe surgeries are completed to straighten a toe that bends upward. This bending is caused by the tightening of the tendon and ligament tissues that run down the length of the toe. While these tissues do need to be cut and reattached to straighten the toe, the toe itself will also need to be readjusted. 

When a hammer tow condition develops, one or both of the toe joints will become damaged where the toe bones bunch up on top of one another. To fix the toe and to ensure a straighter position, a small portion of one or several of the toe bones will be removed. Bone healing is necessary afterwards, and one or several pins keep the toe straight during this process. 

You should understand that something called fusion may occur between the bone of the toe. This is something that happens when both bones on either side of the joint need to be trimmed. Basically, the joint is removed completely and the two bones will heal together. In this situation, more than one pin or other types of surgical hardware may be required. 

Pin Removal Procedures

The timeframe to remove the pin or pins after hammer toe surgery can vary. Typically, the removal will occur within six weeks. If a simple operation was completed with only the trimming of a single toe, then pin removal may occur in as little as three weeks. Keep in mind that even if the pin is removed early, this does not mean that you can engage in activity sooner.

When the surgical pin is removed, your podiatrist may twist the pin gently to loosen it. Once the pin is loose, it can be pulled straight out of the foot. Since pins are not meant to bond to tissues or bones in the toe, the process is easy and rarely painful. You may feel a slight tug or a small bit of discomfort, but most people indicate that they feel almost nothing during the removal.  For more information, contact a specialist like Collier Podiatry PA.