Is Toe Shortening Surgery Suitable for You?

Are you not that happy with the length of your toes? You don't have to live with it now because you have the option of undergoing a toe shortening surgery. While toe shortening isn't as popular as tummy tucks or breast augmentations, it is definitely gaining popularity with time. If you're interested in shortening your toe, you should always opt for an experienced and certified doctor. Keep reading to learn more about toe shortening surgery before taking the plunge.

Why Do I Need Toe Shortening Surgery?

You rely on your feet to perform day-to-day tasks, and the length of your toe can sometimes make things a bit uncomfortable. It may even become a serious medical problem when the length of your toe is too long. You may also consider going for a surgery if you don't like the appearance of your toe because it is not in proportion with the rest of your feet. It is worth mentioning that a long toe can be buckled or straight and a straight long toe can turn into buckled toe overtime. Therefore, you may have to undergo a toe shortening surgery to avoid complications.

How Is Toe Shortening Surgery Done?

The procedure is not that complicated and only takes 15 minutes or so. Performed under a local anesthetic, it involves removing a portion of your toe's small joints and inserting bone screws or pins to keep it in place. Identifying the appropriate amount of bone shortening is the trickiest part of the procedure. Your doctor uses a specially designed instrument to cut bones. They may also consider remodeling your skin depending on the amount of bone that has been shortened. You will have to revisit your doctor to have those pins removed.

How to Recover from Toe Shortening Surgery

You can have surgery on toes of both feet at the same time, but you will have to use crutches for a week after the surgery to walk. You will also have to wear a pair of specially designed surgical shoes. It is important to go for a dressing change after a week. You will have to wear your protective walker boots for at least 3 months. And it usually takes 3-6 months for your toes to heal completely.

Here are tips on how to recover fast from your toe shortening surgery:

  • Use ice packs during the first couple of weeks after surgery to minimize swelling.
  • Keep your feet elevated during the first two weeks for faster healing.
  • Don't walk too much for the first couple of weeks even after wearing your protective boots.
  • Start wearing Ugg boots, roomy trainers or similar footwear at least 5 weeks after your surgery.
  • Be sure to select your shoes carefully because you may notice swelling up to 4 months after your surgery.
  • Start driving only after your doctor has removed the pins.

Are There Any Side Effects of Toe Shortening Surgery?

It's a relatively safe procedure and doesn't usually affect your ability to run, walk or take part in sporting activities. But just like any other surgical procedure, you may experience certain side effects after your toe shortening surgery, such as corns, infection, loss of flexibility, nerve injury and potential chronic pain while walking. In rare cases, you may end up dealing with bunions and balance issues, which are mainly because excessive weight is put on your other toes. Some of these side effects are quite serious, so it is important to discuss the pros and cons of the surgery with your doctor, especially if you want it for cosmetic reasons only.

How Much Does Toe Shortening Surgery Cost?

Even though it is a simple procedure and usually takes only 15 minutes, it still costs you a lot of money. The price may change according to how many toes you want to shorten. Other factors affecting the overall cost are the location of surgery and the surgeon you choose. The average cost is usually up to $2,000-$2,500 per toe. Considering the cost, some doctors also offer patient financing options, so be sure to discuss what type of financing options your surgeon has available. 

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