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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hammertoe Correction: Post Op Return to Sports

Just want to say thank you for the amazing forum! It has been very helpful and informative.

I am currently a basketball player that's been dealing with hammertoes/corns for about 12 years now. Couldn't really deal with the discomfort and pain anymore so I decided to get the hammertoe/corn removal procedure done about 2 months ago on all 8 toes except my two big toes (yeah I know, brutal).

It has been exactly 2 months since the procedure and a month since PT and I can do slight running and jumping but with pain in my toes, which I do believe isn't a good sign. I consulted with my podiatrist and he told me that the pain was originating from the inflammation of my toes from the procedure. He recommended cortisone shots to eliminate problem.

Is the cause of my problem from a slow healing process or is it just the inflammation that's causing the pain? Are the cortisone shots a good idea? Will it better or worsen the problem? Are there any substitutes besides the injection? What would you recommend?

Dr Blake's comment: 
     You are still in the early stages of recovery so unless there was just one spot that was not improving, I would avoid cortisone right now. Of course, you need to be aware of Good vs Bad Pain so you can continue to stress the areas gradually and slowly. Rest typically does not help us. 

At this point, you need to get referred back to physical therapy at least once per week. They can help loosen the soft tissues, since you probably have a ton!! on scarring. Icing 2 or 3 times per day for 10 minutes is also very important to control the inflammation that will be part of the continued healing for the next 6 months. Scar tissue does not really get all better for 1 year post surgery, so some times it is a waiting game. See the link to a great review article.

You had 8 toes operated on which is alot of trauma. Do all your toes hurt, or it is really only 2 or 3? Try foam toe caps to protect the more sensitive toes. And shoes like Hoka One One that have a stable Rocker (less to bend). Or you can try shoes with a wider toe box like the New Balance 990s, etc. See what helps. You can see if a full length insert, like Sole or Powerstep can immobilize the toes without crowding. I hope this helps you some. Rich

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.