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Weil Osteotomy for Claw Toe

Weil osteotomy, sometimes referred to as distal metatarsal osteotomy, helps to relive the symptoms of metatarsal-phalangeal (MTP) joint synovitis, MTP subluxation, persistent metatarsalgia, or claw toe, by shortening the end of the metatarsal located at the base of the affected toe. By doing this, the toe has space to relax and allows it to return to its normal position.

Claw foot or claw toes can appear from birth, or your toes and/or feet can bend later in your life. In some cases, claw toes are caused by uncomfortable shoes and in some more serious cases by diabetes or a stroke.

In some cases, initial treatment may include modifications of footwear, custom-made orthoses, or metatarsal pads.

To begin surgery, the patient is positioned in a way to properly display the top of the foot to the surgeon and an anesthetic is administered. After the affected area has been cleaned and sterilized, the surgeon will then create an incision right along the top of the toe at the base of the affected joint.

After the end of the metatarsal is cut at an angle, the end of the bone is able to slide back into place. A screw is inserted through the top of the joint which secures the end of the bone. Once the excess bone has been removed, the metatarsal is shortened and more room is created for the toe bones.

When the surgery is complete, the incision is closed, and the entire foot is wrapped in a bandage. Patients will then be placed in a postoperative shoe or walking boot. Recovery time for most patients is anywhere between six and eight weeks.


Dr. Kris Dinucci

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