Hammertoes are a common foot deformity for which podiatrists often recommend surgery. As a podiatric malpractice attorney, Lawrence M. Karam, founder of The Law Firm of Lawrence M. Karam, P.C., has frequently litigated cases in which hammertoe surgery has failed and patients have suffered long-term injuries. He has a long history of winning such cases through negotiated settlements or positive verdicts and protecting the rights of New Yorkers.
If you are a victim of failed hammertoe surgery and believe that your podiatrist was negligent in your treatment, contact Larry immediately. He has the in-depth knowledge of podiatry and medical malpractice law necessary to assess whether you have a winnable case. More than that, he has the legal skills to recover the meaningful damages you deserve and will charge you no fees until he does so.
What Is a Hammertoe and What Causes It?
A hammertoe is an abnormal bend at one or more of the joints of a toe appearing as an upside-down V. Apart from being unattractive, it sometimes causes pain and makes it difficult to wear stylish shoes. Hammertoes may be due to a number of things including an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that hold the toe, and may result from:
- Congenital foot structure
- Type of shoes worn
- Certain disease processes (e.g. diabetes)
Symptoms Some Patients With Hammertoe Surgery Experience
Symptoms that bring patients to consider hammertoe surgery are usually: pain, redness, swelling, difficulty moving the affected toe, and sometimes painful corns that develop at the abnormal joint. Hammertoe surgery may also be considered for cosmetic reasons.
Nonetheless, a great many people live with hammertoes for decades without a problem, so a patient should never have hammertoe surgery just because their podiatrist thinks it is a good idea. If you have hammertoes but no symptoms or concern about them, you do not require an operation. Even if you do have pain when you wear shoes or under the affected toes, your podiatrist should discuss nonsurgical options with you before you agree to surgery.
How Hammertoes Can Be Treated Nonsurgically
In some cases, simply wearing roomier shoes, padded shoe inserts, or customized orthotics can relieve pressure and provide relief. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can also make a significant difference. Taping the toes into a correct position, doing stretching and strengthening exercises, or having corticosteroid injections may also be helpful. In any case, surgical correction for hammertoes should be a last resort.
How Serious Is Hammertoe Surgery?
Though hammertoe surgery is not typically considered major surgery, it involves cuts to the soft tissues or the bones of the toe, sometimes with the use of a temporary pin to hold the toe straight during healing. If you were not informed of either of these facts before hammertoe surgery, you could not have provided informed consent to the procedure.
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
Even when hammertoe surgery goes completely according to plan, recovery is painful and can take up to 3 months.
What Are the Elements of Podiatric Malpractice
Podiatrists, like all healthcare professionals, owe a duty of care to their patients. A hammertoe operation can go wrong in several ways, but as your podiatric malpractice attorney, Larry Karam has to prove that:
- You and your podiatrist had a doctor-patient relationship so your podiatrist owed you a duty of care
- Your podiatrist breached that duty of care by not adhering to acceptable medical standards
- That breach caused you injury
- Your injury involved real financial damages
The hardest of these elements to prove is causation, i.e. that your podiatrist was to blame for the injury you suffered.
When Hammertoe Surgery Goes Wrong Due to Podiatric Malpractice
To successfully sue for the compensation you deserve, we must prove that your podiatrist was seriously negligent regarding one of the following:
- Performing unnecessary hammertoe surgery
- Failing to get your informed consent for the operation
- Removing too much bone
- Letting a postsurgical infection become systemic by not diagnosing or treating it promptly
- Using improper surgical techniques resulting in long-term or permanent injury
- Failing to provide proper postoperative care or directions
Any of the above may be a reason for a podiatric malpractice claim.
What Larry Karam Can Do to Help
With decades of successful experience under his belt, Larry Karam has excellent legal skills, all of which will combine to provide you with outstanding support during negotiations or litigation. These include:
- Superior communication aptitude
- Persuasive capabilities
- Investigatory prowess
- Having a well-respected network of podiatric experts to consult with who may be able to testify on your behalf
The last item on this list is central to winning your case since a recognized expert in the field of podiatry is essential to prove that your doctor did not just make a mistake but committed or omitted an act that was beyond the pale of acceptable medical care.
Damages Our Hammertoe Surgery Attorney Will Fight to Recover
For most people, prolonged foot pain or dysfunction is disabling, interfering with work, chores, recreation, and quality of life. Therefore, if you have suffered a failed hammertoe operation due to podiatry malpractice, you may be legally entitled to damages for:
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Lost income, present, and future
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Contact Our Experience Hammertoe Surgery Attorney Now
If you have been harmed by a podiatrist you trusted, you deserve the resources you need to cover your expenses and to provide compensation for the misery you have suffered and may continue to undergo. Contact Larry Karam today to discuss your options and secure your future.