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Brachymetatarsia (Short Toe) Surgery FAQs

What method does Dr. K prefer to fix Brachymetatarsia?

Dr. K has performed hundreds of toe lengthening surgeries. This is where Dr. K’s experience is so valuable. He will examine the patient and choose the best method, according to the patient’s condition.

How long does Dr. K’s Minimally Invasive Brachymetatarsia Procedure take?

Every procedure is slightly different, but this surgery normally takes between 1 to 3 hours.

When will I get instructions on adjusting the external fixation?

Usually 5 to 7 days after the surgery, Dr. K will see you in his office and give you instructions on how to adjust the external fixation at home. The bone is usually lengthened .5 mm per day, but that can vary. For example, if your toe was 5 centimeters short, the lengthening would take about 40 days.

Do I always turn the external fixation the same amount during lengthening phase?

Dr. K will see you in his office every two weeks to take X-rays and chart your progress. If you're out-of-state, then you will need to go to a doctor who will take and send the X-rays to Dr. K. every two weeks.

Based on X-ray findings, Dr. K may change the external fixation turn rate. If your toe is not growing enough new bone, Dr. K will slow down the rate of turning so new bone can develop. If Dr. K finds the bone is getting solid at a faster rate, he might speed up the turn rate.

When will the external fixation device be removed from my toe?

Because you are generating new bone this time period can vary, but usually the external fixation is removed between 8 -16 weeks.

Is it possible to get an infection from the external fixation device?

You may develop a superficial infection, which feels tender and red around the pins of the external fixation. If so, Dr. K will prescribe you some antibiotics that will quickly take care of the infection. Be sure to report any infection or symptoms to Dr. K. as soon as possible.

Are there any other complications?

A list of the most common complications with any kind of surgery will be given to you at time of consent. Dr. K will treat any complications that may arise. That said, this is a low risk surgery in the hands of an experienced surgeon such as Dr. K.

Are there going to be big scars?

Usually within one year, the scarring is very minimal, if at all. Keep in mind that some people may scar more than the others. Please let us know if you are keloid, as this condition could leave a scar after any type of surgery.

How long after surgery will I be able to wear high heels or participate in sports activities?

Usually a few months after the surgery, you should be completely healed, depending on how well your new bone develops. Dr. K will let you know when you can wear high heels or be involved in sports.

Is Dr. K doing the surgery himself?

Yes, absolutely, this surgery is very complicated and needs an experienced hand. Dr. K is one of the most experienced surgeons in lengthening toes.

I have more than one toe that needs to be lengthened on each foot. Can the same surgery be performed?

Even though it is not that common, Dr. K has operated on feet that have had up to three toes affected by this condition.

Are there going to be big scars?

After your surgery, the incisions will heal completely. Usually within one year, the scar is very minimal. Keep in mind that everyone is different so some patients may scar more than the others. Please let us know if you are keloid, as this condition will leave a very bad scar with any type of surgery.

I have seen advertisements of a different doctor doing implants (silicon) and getting toe lengthening results immediately. Is that a good treatment?

That is the worst surgery being advertised for this condition. That procedure is very temporary. The surgeon puts a silicon implant in the joint to try to achieve a cosmetically acceptable result. However, they don’t explain how the toe joint will function later. The implant could very likely dislodge and destroy the joint sooner or later.