Forefoot Surgery

There are some health conditions where surgery may be necessary to relieve foot pain. MaineHealth has providers and specialists with skill and expertise to care for your feet and get you moving pain-free.

What is forefoot surgery?

The forefoot is the part of the foot just under the toes, commonly referred to as the ball of the foot. Sometimes foot problems do not get better. Foot problems may cause pain and deformity. Surgery may be advised by your provider as treatment.

Conditions that forefoot surgery treats include:

  • Bunions

  • Hammertoe

  • Neuroma

  • Bunionette

  • Toenail deformities

  • Bone spurs

What are the symptoms of a forefoot health condition?

Depending on the type of problem in the forefoot, you may notice some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain and difficulty walking
  • Deformities (toes bending strangely, lumps growing on the sides of the foot)
  • Calluses

Diagnosing forefoot problems

To decide if you need forefoot surgery, a podiatrist or other specialty doctor will examine your foot and talk with you about your symptoms and lifestyle.

Your doctor will ask about your medical history, existing medical conditions, allergies, and current medications. Your doctor also may use an X-ray or other imaging test to look inside the foot and see if surgery will help the problem and improve the symptoms.

What to expect from forefoot surgery

Each type of surgery is slightly different. Your doctor and care team will discuss the procedure with you and make sure that you are fully prepared.

In general, you can expect to receive a regional anesthetic to numb the area before surgery. Surgery usually takes an hour or more. Most people do not need to stay overnight after surgery.

Caring for your foot post-surgery

Recovery and post-operative care directions may vary, depending on the surgery and lifestyle of the patient.

In general, your provider will recommend rest, elevation and ice. Your provider might also recommend using surgical shoes, crutches or canes. You will need to keep your foot covered while showering.