A hammertoe is a deformity in any of the three middle toes, and it is often caused by wearing shoes that don’t fit well and that place too much pressure on the tendons of the middle toes. At first, a hammertoe will stay flexible, but it will eventually become more permanently fixed because the foot muscles have become too weak to move the toe. Hammertoe surgery involves a realignment of the deformed toe.

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Provider List

2900 12th Avenue North #140W & #100E
Billings, MT 59101
(406) 237-5050

When Procedure is Used

Hammertoe surgery is most successful in patients who do not have an underlying cause, such as rheumatoid arthritis, for their hammertoes. If more conservative methods of treatment including a change in footwear, stretching, and the use of inserts or pads, have not been successful, surgery can alleviate pain and fix the deformity in order to restore alignment.

During Surgery

You may receive general anesthesia for hammertoe surgery, but your doctor may also just use localized anesthesia. Your surgeon will also use different methods depending on how deformed your toe has become. If the hammertoe has not become too severe, it might be corrected by only cutting tendons and ligaments to restore alignment. More severely deformed hammertoes will require the surgeon to remove bones and use Kirschner wire (K-wire) to help the remaining bones fuse together.


The risk of complications is very low, however, potential risks might include:

  • allergic reactions to medications
  • nerve damage
  • bleeding or blood clots
  • infection
  • injury to surrounding tissues
  • numbness


  • elimination of or decrease in pain
  • realignment of the toe

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