About Toe Surgery
Are ice, rest, and home care methods failing to resolve your toe injury? Often, minimal medical intervention can provide relief, but toe surgery may be recommended if the case is severe. Dr. Pedro Cosculluela and Dr. Andrew Ebert are foot and ankle surgeons at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, TX, who can provide the treatment your case requires.
When should I see a doctor for my toe injury?
Make Treatment a Priority,
Schedule a Consultation to Find Relief
Injuries and deformities of the toe can be painful and impact your ability to perform basic daily functions as well as the activities you love. Our doctors can restore your comfort and your health for lasting relief. Contact our office to schedule an appointment and learn more about your treatment options. You can also call us at:
Meet Our Experts
Pedro Cosculluela, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at our Austin and Lakeway, TX offices, providing complete orthopedic care to teens and adults in Austin, Texas, and Cedar Park, Texas. Dr. Cosculluela was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He began pursuing his career at Ponce Health Sciences University in Ponce, earning his medical degree. After graduation, Dr. Cosculluela moved to the United States. He completed an internship and residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and an orthopedic surgery fellowship at the OrthoCarolina Foot & Ankle Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Cosculluela has extensive training in all areas of orthopedics but specializes in treating disorders and injuries of the lower extremities, including foot and ankle fractures, ligament ruptures, and cartilage damage.
Dr. Ebert is the foot and ankle surgeon at our Austin, TX, office. Dr. Ebert cares for all toe, foot, and ankle problems our patients have. Practicing medicine for over 15 years, Dr. Ebert joined Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin only three years after we opened. Since then, Dr. Ebert has continued to stay up-to-date with the latest surgical techniques and advancements within orthopaedics. He is also a bilingual Spanish speaker who takes pride in being able to help many patients throughout the Austin, TX, area.
Surgical Treatment Options
If your injury is severe to the point of needing surgery, our doctors can perform a wide range of toe surgeries. The most appropriate option will depend on your specific condition and the natural alignment of your toe. Common surgeries include:
Arthroplasty: To relieve the effects of hammertoe, your doctor will remove a small piece of bone, which will allow the joint to straighten normally.
Arthrodesis: Arthrodesis is appropriate for both bunions and hammer toe. Your surgeon will trim the ends of the bones on each side of the joint. He will also remove a small amount of cartilage. Finally, he will stabilize the joint with pins, allowing it to straighten as it heals.
Tendon Transfer: During this hammer toe surgery, your doctor will move the tendon from beneath your joint to the top of your toe. Once in place, the tendon will pull and straighten the joint.
Basal Phalangectomy: If you have a particularly severe hammer toe, your doctor will remove a small part of the bone beneath your affected toe.
Weil Osteotomy: Weil osteotomy is another option for both severe hammer toe and bunions. Your surgeon will remove part of the metatarsophalangeal joint found at the base of your toe. Then he will use pins to stabilize your toe as it heals.
Exostectomy: During this procedure, your doctor will remove your bunion from the side of your joint. He will almost always perform this surgery in conjunction with another treatment.
Nerve Removal: If you have a particularly severe pinched nerve, your doctor may actually remove it to achieve lasting pain relief.
Surgery for Fractures: Your doctor may place pins in your toe to aid the healing process. Typically, he will perform this treatment four to six weeks after you break your toe.
Step-by-Step Process of Toe Surgery
Patients begin treatment with a consultation with Dr Cosculluela and Dr. Ebert. The foot and ankle specialist will evaluate your symptoms and may also take x-rays of your injured toe. Our offices use state-of-the-art technology to help our surgeon identify the core injury and how it can be treated. Our goal is always to provide the least invasive treatment option.
Some patients need very little treatment and no surgery whatsoever. In these cases, rest and splinting the toe can be enough. If surgery is the necessary treatment, your doctor can use minimally invasive techniques that can minimize downtime and scarring from the incision.
Recovery from toe surgery will depend on the type of procedure you undergo. In some cases, you may be back to normal activities in just a few weeks. However, if you have a more complex procedure, such as Weil osteotomy, full recovery may take up to six months. Most of the time, our toe surgeries are outpatient treatments, so you can rest in the comfort of your own bed. We will provide appropriate medications and regular checkups to ensure that you are healing properly. When needed, we will also refer you a physical therapist to expedite your recovery.
Nonsurgical Treatment Options
Nonsurgical treatment options are available for certain toe injuries. For deformities, like hammer toe, surgery is the only option. However, for minor injuries or recurring foot pain, a few non-surgical treatments can aid in recovery: