Hammertoe Correction (PIP Joint Arthroplasty)
This surgical procedure is used to correct a hammertoe, a deformity of the toe that causes the toe to become permanently frozen in a bent position. During this procedure, a small piece of bone is removed to shorten the toe and allow it to straighten.
In preparation for the procedure, the patient is positioned and anesthesia is administered. The surgeon creates a small incision on the upper side of the affected toe to access the phalanges and the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint.
Shortening the Bone
The surgeon uses a cutting instrument to carefully remove the head of the proximal phalanx at the PIP joint. By shortening this bone, the surgeon relieves pressure on the joint, creating more space so that the bones can be aligned properly. The surgeon carefully straightens the toe, moving the bones into a relaxed and natural position.
Stabilizing the Toe
Once the bones have been properly aligned, the surgeon inserts a fixation device or pin into the toe. This holds the bones in place while the joint heals. Scar tissue will form between the phalanges during the healing process, stabilizing the joint.
End of Procedure
When the procedure is complete, the incision is closed and the foot is bandaged. The patient may be placed in a postoperative shoe or boot. Most patients will recover within six to eight weeks of the procedure.
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