Deformity of the lesser toes is common and can occur in isolation or in association with big toe joint problems, such as hallux valgus (bunions).
Hammer toe deformity represents the most common problem, and require complex surgery due to the associated muscle and tendon imbalances. Surgical correction involves what is known as a 'fusion'. The tight structures - usually the extensor tendon - are released. Recovery times are normnally around four to five weeks.
A toe shortening procedure can also be offered for people who have toes of differing length, most commonly a long second toe which rubs in shoes.
A short fourth toe is known as 'brachymetatarsia'. This is a deformity that you are born with, and can range in severity. It is usually bilateral (meaning that it affects both feet). For most people it simply represents a cosmetic problem, however for others, the 4th toe sits up and rubs in shoes. Surgical correction of the problem is complex and should only be undertaken by a specialist Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon. For treatment there are two main options.