While cosmetic toe surgeries can be used to achieve an aesthetic result for patients, they also provide health benefits. Toe surgeries can help people with conditions like brachymetatarsia and people prone to corns and hammertoes. Read on to learn more about toe lengthening and shortening and how these procedures can help relieve pain.
Toe Lengthening for People with Brachymetatarsia
Brachymetatarsia is a condition that causes growth disturbances in the bones of the foot, thus causing short toes. While this condition can be hereditary, trauma to your feet can also lead to this condition. Not only does this brachymetatarsia cause short toes, but it can also cause some the toes to fall out of alignment. People with brachymetatarsia can have:
- Pain in the ball of their feet
- Difficulty finding shoes that fit
- Pain during walking and other physical activity
A cosmetic surgery like toe lengthening can relieve these problems. You have three surgical options when it comes to toe lengthening: bone grafting, external-fixator lengthening, and sliding bone-cut lengthening.
For bone grafting, your podiatrist will lengthen your toes by inserting bone grafts into your toes. These grafts are stabilized by metal plates and screws in the foot. This surgery is good for people that need minimal adjustments to their toes.
During external-fixator lengthening, your toe bones are slowly stretched to the ideal position. Your podiatrist will attach to metal pins and screws to the bones in your toes, and then these pins and screws also attach to an external frame and cast that will stabilize the bones. The external frame slowly applies pressure to encourage toe reshaping. This procedure is usually for severe cases and requires weeks or months of being in a cast.
Lastly, you could opt for a sliding bone-cut lengthening surgery. Like grafting, this surgery is usually reserved for milder cases. During this surgery, your podiatrist will cut into the toe bone and readjust it to a more ideal position. This surgery doesn't have the greatest cosmetic results since minimal length is achieved, but it can still be beneficial if you want to reduce pain from brachymetatarsia.
Toe Shortening for People with Corns and Hammertoes
Some people are prone to hammertoes, where the toe buckles and causes pain in the joints, tendons, and surrounding muscles. If you wear tight shoes or have a hard time finding shoes that fit well, you could develop painful corns, which are hard pressure calluses on the toes.
Toe shortening surgery can relieve the pain from both hammertoes and calluses. During this surgery, your podiatrist will remove a portion of one or two joints in your toes. This type of surgery is minimally invasive, and your bones will heal with an external fixator.
Like surgeries for toe lengthening, this type of surgery can yield similar benefits. You won't have pain when you walk. You'll be able to find shoes that fit more easily. The toe shortening should reduce your symptoms of hammertoes and corns.
For more information on cosmetic toe surgery, contact a podiatrist in your area today.