Logo: Moore Foot and Ankle Specialists

Long Toe - Toe Shortening Surgery

Short Toe - Toe Lengthening Surgery

One of the most common genetic toe problems is the long toe. The long second toe is the most common with most patient complaints about the toenail pain and top of the toe pain from hitting the end of the shoe and top, inside of the shoe respectively. Other associated terms include, hammertoe, mallet toe, claw toe.

 

The short toe is more rare and this too is genetic or in some cases due to trauma with damage to a growth plate during childhood.  The treatments or toe lengthening surgeries are more difficult ranging from external pins and slow lengthening period, bone grafting, or the newer joint implants that extend the toe's length.

 

Below are videos that show one of our patient experiences as well as an advanced surgical technique (viewer caution advised).

Mallet Toe

Lengthening and Shortening Toes

- 4 weeks after surgery

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TREATMENT   - Conservative Care

Shoes:

Padding:

Arch Support:

A larger, softer shoe can relieve the direct or indirect pressure. Make sure that the shoe has enough room at the end about the width of your thumb and that the toe box (front of the shoe) is high enough to allow your toes to move freely.

 

There are an array of over the counter pads that can be placed between the toes or behind the painful nail edge to relieve pain

 

Temporary arch supports or custom molded orthotics can give support and minimize the gripping or clawing effect of toes from a flattening archway. These devices are good solution for long term treatment with or without surgical intervention.

Surgical treatment / COSMETIC OPTIONS

In an out patient surgery center or the clinic under sedation and local anesthesia, the procedure (Toe shortening, toe lengthening, mallet toe correction, claw toe correction) may or may not require an internal pin.  Occasionally an additional procedure may be necessary (eg.  spur removal), but the time in the operating room is usually 20 minutes per toe. If indicated, the skin lesion or corn is removed during the procedure or it will naturally fall off 3 to 4 weeks after the surgery.

 

The incision is minimal (0.5cm to 1.5cm) and sutures are removed at 2 weeks.  Weight bearing in a post operative shoe or open toe sandal is allowed after 48 to 72 hours of rest and elevation.  Sports, exercise, and different types of shoes (dress, work, running, etc.) can be worn as soon as 3 weeks depending upon patient preference, swelling, incision sensitivity.

Talk to an expert

Our doctors have extended specialist medical training focused on the foot, ankle and lower leg.

 

We are board certified surgeons and experts in delivering care for complex foot and ankle disorders as well as cosmetic or reconstructive procedures and problems related to sports injuries and other medical conditions.

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