Doctor inspecting hammertoe

Hammertoe Surgery Complications: Recognizing a Failed Procedure

Hammertoes are common toe deformities, accounting for nearly 50 percent of all forefoot surgeries. Sadly, however, that does not mean hammertoe surgeries are smooth or painless procedures. As a matter of fact, at The Law Firm of Lawrence M. Karam, P.C. we have assisted many patients who suffered severe consequences as a result of hammertoe surgery. In all cases, the complications were the result of podiatric negligence.

If you have been harmed by hammertoe surgery and believe your podiatrist was to blame, it is critical not only that you receive excellent reparative medical care, but that you consult with an experienced podiatry malpractice attorney. In New York, Larry Karam is the lawyer to call. With decades of successful outcomes under his belt, he will provide you with the best chance of recovering every dollar of compensation you deserve.

What Is a Hammertoe and What Causes It?

A hammertoe is an abnormal bend at one or more of the joints of a toe that looks like an upside-down V. In addition to being unattractive, a hammertoe sometimes causes pain and makes wearing stylish shoes impossible. 

Reasons people develop hammertoes include:

  • Congenital foot structure
  • Type of shoes worn or improperly fitted shoes 
  • Traumatic injury to the foot
  • Certain diseases (e.g. diabetes, rheumatoid or other inflammatory arthritis, neuromuscular disorders, and postural deformities)
  • Imbalance of muscles, tendons or ligaments

Whatever the cause of their hammertoes, some patients experience pain and seek surgery to repair them. Other patients are distressed enough by their appearance alone to want hammertoe surgery. Still others are convinced by their podiatrists that hammertoe surgery is a good idea without ever mentioning other options.

Symptoms Some Patients With Hammertoe Surgery Experience

While for many patients hammertoes are entirely painless, symptoms that bring patients to consider hammertoe surgery are typically: pain, redness, swelling, unattractive appearance, difficulty moving the affected toe or painful corns that develop at the abnormal joint. 

Hammertoe Surgery Is Complex and Intrusive

Some podiatrists present hammertoe surgery as a simple procedure, never explaining that the operation typically involves:

  • Removing parts of the toe bones
  • Cutting or transplanting the tendons of the toes 
  • Fusing the joint together to make the toe straight but unable to bend
  • Putting a surgical pin in the affected toe

If your podiatrist never explained to you precisely what hammertoe surgery involves or the potential risks of the procedure, you never gave informed consent and they may be guilty of podiatric malpractice. If so, Larry Karam is ready to hold them accountable.

Complications of Hammertoe Surgery That May Indicate a Failed Procedure

At best, hammertoe surgery is painful and full recovery requires at least 3 months. Possible complications of the procedure include:

  • Ongoing pain and swelling
  • Mis-aligned toe or toe up in the air
  • Postsurgical Infection
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Delayed healing
  • Scarring
  • Complex regional pain syndrome 
  • Recurrence of the problem
  • Nonunion of bones 
  • Continued trouble fitting into shoes

How Your Podiatrist May Have Breached Their Duty of Care

All doctors owe a duty of care to their patients. If they breach that duty by failing to get your informed consent to hammertoe surgery, violating accepted podiatry standards by making an improper cut of bone, muscle or nerve, fail to sterilize instruments leading to infection, or improperly administer anesthesia or issue a prescription, you likely have a viable claim of negligence.

Improperly performed hammertoe surgery can result in ongoing pain and difficulty walking due to:

  • Twisted, distorted, and/or shortened toes
  • Stiff toes that don’t move or bend normally
  • Toes that no longer touch the ground
  • Toes that stick up over the other toes

If you have been left worse off after hammertoe surgery than you were when you first consulted your doctor, Larry Karam will take your side and fight aggressively to bring you the damages you deserve for:

  • Medical and rehabilitation costs
  • Permanent disability
  • Alterations to make your home accessible
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Contact Larry Karam for Excellent Legal Representation When It Counts Most

Larry has the well-developed skills to investigate your case fully, interview witnesses, bring in medical experts to testify on your behalf, and negotiate a substantial settlement. If the doctor and their insurance adjusters don’t make a reasonable offer, Larry will litigate forcefully. You will owe him no attorney’s fees until he brings you the compensation you deserve. Call today.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.