Hammertoe & Bunion Correction in Kansas City

Hammertoe & Bunion Correction

Long-term relief for those dealing with bunions.

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Hammertoe & Bunion Correction Kansas City

What is Hammertoe & Bunion Correction?

The effects of daily wear and tear, in addition to acute injuries, abnormal balance, or even wearing ill-fitting shoes, can cause issues such as hammertoe and bunions to appear.

Feet and ankle issues can be debilitating to deal with, particularly when performing everyday tasks such as walking or climbing stairs.  Bunions occur when a person’s big toe bends toward the other toes on your feet, rather than straight ahead. This happens when the bone or tissues at the bottom of your big toe joint are under stress over time, causing the big toe to point inward. Hammertoe, meanwhile, occurs when the tendons, muscles, or ligaments in the toe are imbalanced, causing the toes to bend in the middle of the joint.

If these issues with your toes go untreated, they can result in long-term complications such as arthritis, skin irritation and bone breakdown. If you need bunion or hammertoe correction, the experienced orthopedic foot and ankle physicians at Kansas City Orthopedic can perform a number of different treatments. When you visit a specialist at KCOA, we focus on creating a treatment plan based on your specific conditions, symptoms, and recovery goals.

Choosing hammertoe and bunion treatment in Kansas City is a decision that typically involves guidance from your primary care doctor and orthopedic physician.

When you choose Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, one of our highly-trained orthopedic foot and ankle specialists will conduct an initial evaluation to better understand your condition. After a complete review of your results, your provider will discuss whether hammertoe correction, traditional bunionectomy or lapiplasty is the best treatment option for you.

Your First Appointment

Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance Foot & Ankle Injuries Assessment

Assessing the Injury

Determining the proper hammertoe and bunion treatment process starts with an assessment from one of our experienced providers.

You can think of foot and ankle pain as a spectrum, with some instances being more severe than others. The KCOA orthopedic specialists always focus on each patient and their concerns before creating a treatment plan.

Therefore, during your initial appointment, we will often ask questions such as:

The answers to these questions help shape the next steps of the assessment process and guide our physical examination. After we complete your assessment, KCOA providers often begin with a physical examination to help determine the origin point of your pain. In some cases, patients may require advanced testing to get a full diagnosis.

  • Does your pain currently limit you or your activities?
  • Does walking or putting weight through your foot increase your symptoms?
  • Has your pain progressed or worsened recently?
  • Have you experienced any tingling or numbness in your foot that makes tasks difficult?
  • Did you notice or hear a popping sound at the time of your injury?
  • Have you noticed any change in your symptoms that has made it more challenging to function?
  • What are your lifestyle goals?
  • How has pain affected those goals?



Also called radiographs, an X-ray captures a picture of the foot and toes. Orthopedic physicians may order an X-ray to rule out the possibility of a fracture (broken bone), osteoarthritis, or other bone-related conditions.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI captures images of muscles, bones, intervertebral discs, and tendons to help provide information other tests can’t detail. During an MRI, you will lie on a table that slides into a tube-shaped scanner. The machine creates a magnetic field around you, using pulsed radio waves to form the MRI images.

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Establishing a Care Plan

Based on the results of your interview, examination, and imaging studies, you can expect a custom care plan catered specifically to you.

Many people believe it’s best to wait until pain and deformity becomes severe, leading them to “put off” or delay treatments like hammertoe correction, bunionectomy, or lapiplasty.

If you are in constant discomfort, have shooting or stabbing pains, have limited range of motion, or an inability to perform your daily activities, this may indicate that it’s time for more extensive measures like a joint fusion.

New technologies allow patients with severe foot and ankle pain to fully recover and enjoy the benefits of a more functional, pain-free lifestyle.



Prior to surgery, you will typically receive at least 2 phone calls:

  • A hospital registration representative will call to gather insurance and other personal information.
  • A registered nurse will call to review your health history and medication information.


Dependent on your health history, your physician may require:

  • Pre-surgical laboratory tests
  • X-rays
  • Primary care clearance



Pre-operative instructions will vary depending on your physician and the location of your surgery.

Always check with your physician before surgery for specific instructions.

Most physicians require that patients not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery.

Additionally, you will need to designate a family member or friend to drive you home on the day you are released from the hospital. Surgical patients cannot drive themselves home.


Day of Surgery

If you schedule your surgery with a KCOA physician, you can expect the following on surgery day: 

  • A receptionist will check you in at the hospital registration desk.
  • A nurse will take you back and prepare you for surgery. They will start an IV, prepare the surgical site, and review your medical history and medications.
  • Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will visit with you prior to your operation.
  • The surgical team will take you to the operation suite for surgery.


How it Works

Depending on the individual needs of the patient, our surgeons can select from a few options to correct your hammertoe or bunion issue.

Bunion issues can be corrected with procedures such as Lapiplasty, Bunion issues can be corrected with procedures such as Lapiplasty (link) or traditional bunionectomy. Traditional bunionectomy typically involves cutting and realigning the bone and repairing the surrounding soft tissue.

With hammertoe deformities, if your toe can be straightened, known as a flexible hammertoe, your issue can be corrected by cutting the tendon in the toe allowing it to straighten more easily, or transferring tendon from the bottom of your toe to the top portion. Similarly, this helps ensure that the toe maintains the proper position.

If the toe cannot be straightened, known as fixed hammertoe, it means your joint has become contracted to the point that releasing or transferring the tendon can’t restore proper alignment.

At this point, your surgeon will remove bone to straighten the toe. Once the bone is removed, your surgeon may use pins or screws to fuse the toe in its proper alignment.



Recovery timelines will vary based on various different factors, including age, activity level, goals, how closely you follow your post-op instructions, and more.

Post hammertoe surgery, many patients can place their full weight on their foot without needing crutches or other assistance devices.

Patients may need to use a walking boot or specialized orthotic device in the aftermath of their surgery.

Rest and elevation will also play a role in your recovery, as patients will need to elevate their foot to aid in swelling control for at least a few days following surgery.

After 2-3 weeks, your KCOA provider will remove the stitches used for surgery and remove any temporary pins from your toe.


What to Expect

Full recovery may take several weeks, depending on the type of hammertoe surgery performed. To help aid in your recovery, make sure that you follow all postoperative instructions, including any diet and exercise recommendations given by your care team.

Bunion correction procedures normally require patients to wear a splint or boot following surgery for several weeks.

In most instances you won’t be able to put full weight through your leg, so you may need crutches, a walker or scooter to get around.

Initially, controlling soreness and swelling are keys to an optimal recovery. Elevating your leg and using ice can be really helpful.

After a few weeks, you may progress to more traditional footwear, only at the direction of your surgeon. Physical therapy may be ordered to aid in the recovery.

Our Process


Common Signs and Symptoms of Bunions

With so many different parts working together in your feet and ankles, there are many potential causes of pain. And each of those causes has a unique set of symptoms.

Bunions and hammertoe can be incredibly painful to deal with, making day-to-day life significantly more challenging by affecting your ability to walk and perform other tasks. They can also be genetic, as patients with family members affected by bunions often deal with the issue as well. Bunion and hammertoe issues can also develop because of injuries, arthritis, and even the types of shoes you wear. Symptoms of bunions and hammertoe include:

Signs of bunions include:

  • Pain (specifically near the big toe)
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Hardened skin on the bottom of the foot
  • A bump located on the big toe forcing it inward
  • Curled or bent up toes
  • Stiffness and restricted motion in the big toe


Common Signs and Symptoms of Hammertoe & Bunions

With so many different parts working together in your feet and ankles, there are many potential causes of pain. And each of those causes has a unique set of symptoms.

Bunions and hammertoe can be incredibly painful to deal with, making day-to-day life significantly more challenging by affecting your ability to walk and perform other tasks. They can also be genetic, as patients with family members affected by bunions often deal with the issue as well. Bunion and hammertoe issues can also develop because of injuries, arthritis, and even the types of shoes you wear.

Treatment Alternatives

Non-Surgical Treatment

In most cases, surgery is not the first option for treatment at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance. If we can treat your foot and ankle issues with more conservative treatments, we’ll choose those options. We typically exhaust all non-surgical options prior to recommending surgery.

Non-surgical treatments for ankles and feet include:

    • Physical Therapy – Stretching and mobilization activities along with guided exercises, may be helpful in reducing the pain and dysfunction caused by a hammertoe or bunion.

    • Medications – Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil)or prescription medications. Especially with NSAIDs, you should always talk to your doctor to ensure they are the right treatment for you. 
    • Orthotics – Proper fitting shoes and the use of custom orthotics can help relieve the symptoms of bunions and hammertoe, as well as alter the angle of the affected area

Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is here to help.

Our care is personal. Our team is knowledgeable. And we’re more available than ever.

With access to board-certified specialists across Kansas City, we have the tools to meet almost every musculoskeletal condition.

Use our Symptom Tracker Tool to connect with the right KCOA physician for your unique needs—and get back to the things that matter most.

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Very caring

Shannon is very caring and encouraging. She listens to my questions and explains what to expect going forward very thoroughly. Hopefully I don’t need my other shoulder replaced, but if I did I would come back to Shannon and Dr. Van Den Berghe.

Becky Edson

Wouldn't go any place else

Wouldn’t go any place else to have orthopedic specialist. Facility is state of the art and rehabilitation program the best.
Edward Straley

Stephanie was very thorough with her examination of my lower back. ‘Have been in pain for some time. She was professional but friendly and made me feel comfortable. After my MRI, I will go back for further assessment and treatment.

Donna Johnson

I'm consistently impressed

In the process of treating my particular problem I’ve been to Apex probably 4-5 times. I’m consistently impressed by the professionalism of the staff and the amount of care & time they spend with me as a patient. They’re always very careful to make sure I understand the nature of the medical problem, the reasons for the diagnosis, and the type of treatment recommended. Stephanie’s care and concern is especially appreciated.



Very knowledgeable

6 weeks post op and Dr. Brown says I’m progressing well. She’s very knowledgeable, and is very quick to answer any questions I have. She’s also very personable, we laughed a lot during my last appointment. Looking forward to seeing her again.

Kayla Mora