Patient Foot Care Education

Foot Care Education

Browse Our Library for Answers to Your Foot Care Questions

Choose any topic from the Patient Education sidebar at right. (Mobile users: if you don't see a sidebar, look for the "Patient Education Menu" button at the bottom of your screen.) To find a specific foot problem, choose "Foot Problems" in the menu for a list of topics.

You can also search our entire site for a particular foot topic by entering some text in the search field below. If you can't find what you're looking for, please give us a call or submit a contact form and we'll be glad to assist!

And, of course, when it comes to foot care, feel free to ask us anything.

Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toes. In this condition, the toe is bent at the middle joint, causing it to resemble a hammer. Left untreated, hammertoes can become inflexible and painful, requiring surgery.

Hammertoe surgery can be done on an outpatient basis in the doctor's office or a surgery center using a local anesthetic, sometimes combined with sedation. The surgery takes about 15 minutes to perform. Up to four small incisions are made and the tendons are rebalanced around the toe so that it no longer curls. Patients usually can walk immediately after the surgery wearing a special surgical shoe. Minimal or no pain medication is needed following the surgery.

Icing and elevation of the foot is recommended during the first week following the procedure to prevent excessive swelling and promote healing. It is also important that the dressing be kept clean and dry to prevent infection. Two weeks after the surgery, the sutures are removed and a wide athletic shoe can replace the post-operative surgical shoe. Patients can then gradually increase their walking and other physical activities.