Hammertoe Correction With K-Wire Fixation Compared With Percutaneous Correction

Mustafa Yassin, Avraham Garti, Eyal Heller, Dror Robinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Kirschner wire (K-wire) fixation for correction of hammertoe deformity is the gold standard for hammertoe surgery fixation, the current study compares it to percutaneous surgery with 3M Coban dressings. Methods. All hammertoe corrections performed were retrospectively reviewed. For the K-wire fixation group: resection arthroplasty of the proximal interphalangeal joint was performed and fixed with a K-wire. The percutaneous technique used involved percutaneous diaphyseal osteotomy of the middle and proximal phalanges combined with tendon release. The toes are then wrapped in 3M Coban dressing for 3 weeks. Follow-up duration, preoperative diagnosis, pin duration, concomitant procedures, visual analogue scale (VAS) pain, recurrence rates, and complications were reviewed and analyzed. A total of 352 patients (87 percutaneous/265 open), in whom 675 hammertoes (221 percutaneous/454 open) were corrected. There were 55.9% females, with an average age of 52.8 years, followed for 6 months. The percutaneous group had more diabetics and multiple toes surgery. Results. Complications of the open surgery group included 5.5% pin migrations, 4.5% infections, and 8 (3%) had impaired wound healing. There were 6.2% recurrent deformities and 2.6% toes were revised. Malalignment was noted in 3.3% toes. Vascular compromise occurred in 0.5%, with 0.25% amputated. Complications of the percutaneous surgery group included 18.4% cases of impaired healing and 2.3% infection. Deep tissue dehiscence occurred in 4.5% of open surgery patients. VAS score decreased in both groups with a more pronounced decline in the percutanteous group (2 ± 2.1 vs 0.5 ± 1.6). The per toe infection rate of patients undergoing open hammertoe correction was 5.3% was significantly higher than with the percutaneous correction group, which was 2.2%. Conclusions. K-wire fixation and percutaneous surgery have similar abnormal healing rates, alignment and patient satisfaction but the latter technique has fewer infections. Levels of Evidence: Level III: Prospective case series with noncontamporenous cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-427
Number of pages7
JournalFoot and Ankle Specialist
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Coban dressing
  • claw toe
  • hammertoe
  • lesser toe deformity
  • percutaneous osteotomy


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