Foot surgery

For severe foot deformities and toe deformities, surgical correction is generally inevitable in order to restore the shape and function of the foot and to allow pain-free walking. It is often necessary in such cases to combine operations on the capsule / ligament apparatus with bone corrections.

The actual procedure depends on the diagnosis and type of condition.

Treatment details

Duration of treatment: Hallux valgus: approx. 1 hour
Hammer or claw toes: approx 30 – 45 minutes
In-patient stay: Hallux valgus: approx 3 – 5 days
Hammer or claw toes: generally as an outpatient
Protection time: following a correction osteotomy around 6 weeks.
Sports: after the protection time, even sporting activities such as jogging or tennis can be resumed.

Treatment plan

Depending on the individual situation, procedures on the foot can be carried out under local or general anaesthetics.

During operations for hallux valgus, the position of the big toes is corrected by removing the bone excess at the bunion and shortening the joint capsule. The cause of the malpositioning of the big toe, however, always lies in the malposition of the metatarsal bone. To achieve long-term success, correction also needs to be made of the metatarsal bone (in a procedure known as a correction osteotomy).

Various different surgical methods are used for this. The separated bone is stabilised again using screws and small plates so that walking is immediately possible again with (partial) weight bearing. The type and extent of the correction required are determined following careful planning centred around the individual patient.

In the case of hammer toes, part of the stiffened toe joint needs to be removed because the shortened tendons prevent the toes from straightening. A procedure involving the joint capsule and the tendons may also be required.

For the correction of claw toes, the shortened tendons and joint capsules need to be divided and then extended or repositioned. Dislocated (luxated) metatarsophalangeal joints require further corrections to the joint capsule and metatarsal bone.

With the procedures that are available today, it is possible in most cases for the patient to be able to put weight back on their foot very soon after the operation.

X-rays of foot deformities
Hand holding an artificial bone foot