Stiff toe after hammer toe surgery

Posted , 4 users are following.

So today it's 12 weeks since I had bunion and hammer toe surgery (2nd toe, which was pinned for 6 weeks). While the big toe is moving somewhat, flexing down better rather than up, my second toe, former hammer toe is not budging. It is not flexible at all, stiff and straight, not flexing at all. I do get physical therapy now, do my exercises at home too but I can see practically no improvement in this second toe and this affects my walking, I compare this toe to a wooden stick by the way it feels. Did anybody experience anything like this? Did it ever get better? I am starting to get rather worried.

0 likes, 7 replies

Report / Delete

7 Replies

  • Posted

    It is 6 months since I had my bunion op and 2nd toe fusion. Unfortunately the 2nd toe is still numb and stiff. However, before I had the op, I seem to remember my consultant informing me that this 2nd toe, when fused, would stay stiff and would not bend. I don't really have any feeling in it except numbness which I am slowly getting used to it. I therefore think you may have had the same procedure as me i.e. fusion. I would not worry too much - it is annoying & sometimes I need to keep rubbing it to get some life in it. I would suggest however that you ask your consultant about this.

    I hope you find this helpful.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    It is 6 months since I had my bunion op and 2nd toe fusion. Unfortunately the 2nd toe is still numb and stiff. However, before I had the op, I seem to remember my consultant informing me that this 2nd toe, when fused, would stay stiff and would not bend. I don't really have any feeling in it except numbness which I am slowly getting used to it. I therefore think you may have had the same procedure as me i.e. fusion. I would not worry too much - it is annoying & sometimes I need to keep rubbing it to get some life in it. I would suggest however that you ask your consultant about this.

    I hope you find this helpful.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I don't want to discourage you but I think that Margaret is right and this is after me having TWO such operations on the same toe.

    About 7-8 years ago, I had the operation for hammer toe on the same toe as yours (I'd already had bunion surgery some years before that). It was fine for a while - ie stayed DOWN, but I could never bend it. After about 18 months, it had reverted to its previous 'up' position.

    The surgeon re-did the operation and the same thing happened again after a year. It was rod-stiff and not only did it rise above all the other toes, but the other 3 smaller toes started to move over into the 'gap' that the second toe had made, so now those three toes were curving inwards..

    I went back to the surgeon eventually and he refused to do it again, with words along the lines of 'It's just the nature of the beast'. He prescribed me a special inner sole for my shoes, but, to be honest, because my other toes were now in a different position as well, by forcing them back into their original position, I kept getting a very sore little toe with the shoes that I had been wearing. I should perhaps have gone back a LOT sooner so I just gave up in the end.

    So, you may well have had your toe 'fused', as Margaret said, but if it has stayed down, level to your other toes, then I doubt that the other toes will be affected like mine were. But if you DO find that your second toe starts to 'rise' again, please go back to the surgeon before your other toes start responding to the 'gap'. I found that more difficult to cope with than a fused second toe.

    If your surgeon DEFINITELY removed the pin, and they say that it SHOULD be bending, then go down the physiotherapy route, perhaps referred by your surgeon. Good luck.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Instead of pinning this toe in alignment with the other toes, the doc pinned it LOWER than its neighbors. He claims that by design, not accident. He said that it was to prevent it from rising again. He also claimed that by walking, everything will fall into place. But is hasn't. I don't walk well on a toe that feels like a piece of unbending wood. And its neighbor, the third toe is now starting to curl because of this. The doc also refused to give me physical therapy claiming that often it makes things worse. This has not been documented anywhere. So I am getting physical therapy on my own. And apparently, the therapist has no clue as to what is going on and what could be done to mobilize my toe. Also, my doc, before my surgery, said that maybe I wanted to have that toe amputated which I flatly refused.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      You have now reminded me that I believe that my surgeon also suggested amputation (which of course I refused) so I don't blame you in the least for refusing. Once that toe has gone, the other toes could then do what they like and would no doubt all curl round even more. It may solve HIS problem but not yours!

      It's a pity you can't get an X-ray on that toe to see if indeed there IS still the pin in there, contrary to your wishes, and would it be possible to ask for your GP (I'm assuming that you are in the UK) to refer you to another hospital to see if you can see another consultant?

      I can't tell by your name if you are Simon or Simona, so don't know how important it is for you to wear open-toe sandals. I became resigned to not wearing summer shoes when all this happened, which is a nuisance, but you may be a lot younger than me (I'm nearly 70 ) so it might be important to you. Having recently read about people being asked to take their shoes off in other people's home, it's something I dread having to do.

      I do sympathise and hope that something can be done.

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up