Flexor to Extensor Tendon Transfer (Girdlestone-Taylor)

Dealing with pain during walking or standing is a difficult way to go through life. When you’re dealing with a hammertoe deformity that you’ve developed, it can be difficult to do a lot of different daily tasks. Things such as finding shoes that fit comfortably, standing on your feet or walking can seem impossible. There are several ways you can try to correct this problem and considering a flexor to extension transfer is just one. Discover below what the Girdelstone Taylor procedure is and how it can help those who have the hammertoe deformity.

What is a hammertoe?

Basically, a hammertoe deformity is one in which the toe itself is bent in a shape that appears like a hammer. It can also cause the toes to cross over each other. This makes it very difficult to find proper shoes and also can cause corns to develop over time.

How is it treated?

Before surgery is considered there are a few things that should be tried to see if it will correct the deformity. Those include such items as splinting or toe sleeves and finding shoes that will assist in keeping the toes in the proper place. While these may help some, they may not be the solution and the Girdlestone Taylor Procedure should be considered.

What is flexor to extensor transfer?

This procedure is done as an outpatient procedure in the office of your physician. An incision is made on the bottom of the toe that is affected. There are two tendons that help the toe to bend and flex. One of the tendons is basically rerouted from the bottom of the toe to the top of the toe to help straighten it out. At times, there may also be a pin inserted during surgery to help keep the toe in place.

After Surgery

Typically, you’ll be able to go home the same day as the procedure unless there are other extenuating circumstances that you need to spend the night. You can generally walk while using a sandal but if you’ve had both feet done at the same time, you can expect to have some difficulty bearing weight on your feet. You’ll visit the doctor again in a few weeks to have the stitches removed and see how your foot is healing. Within four to six weeks after surgery you can return to your normal footwear. After the procedure, it should be easier to find shoes that are comfortable than it was before.

As with every surgery there are risks that will be discussed with your physician. If you’re dealing with a hammertoe deformity, talk with your doctor about the flexor to extensor procedure today to see if you’re a suitable fit.