Yorkshire Foot Hospital

Part of the Lawrence Clinic Group

4-6 Greenside, Pudsey, Leeds LS28 8PU

Call: 0113 2900 310

Toe Shortening Surgery

This type of surgery is one of the most requested here
at The Yorkshire Foot Hospital, Leeds.

Abnormally long toes often affects the 2nd and 3rd digits and is commonly referred to as a “Morton’s Toe.”

The 3 main issues they cause are:

  • Difficulty in finding correct footwear to accommodate your toe length.
  • Digital deformities e.g retracted, clawed and hammer toes.
  • Footwear rubbing over the joint causing corns, callus and (bursae) swellings. 
BEFORE Long second toe with small bursae and calluses over joints

How we carefully select our Patients


Prior to considering surgical treatment for Toe Shortening correction, we advise all our patients that if you present with any of the following:

  • Pain
  • Deformity
  • Unable to wear footwear of your choice
  • Unable to enjoy sports and other leisure activities
  • Seeking good cosmetic appearance

That if you satisfy these criteria we will be happy to offer you treatment at The Yorkshire Foot Hospital, Leeds


This lady typically presented with a long 2nd toe, which had caused  her years of discomfort since she was a young child due to the ends of her shoes pressing onto the toe and forcing the middle toe joint backwards into a hammer toe creating pain on top of the joint.

The procedure she had involved removing a small toe bone to shorten the digit and pass a small wire through the toe to hold it in position whilst the surgery healed.


This lady gave a very kind testimonial following her Toe Shortening Surgery as seen above.

There are a number of procedures we undertake at The Yorkshire Foot Hospital to surgically shorten toes. The correct procedure and the pro’s and con’s of which will be thoroughly discussed with you by your Consultant Podiatric Surgeon.

Generally there are 3 procedures which can be undertaken :

  • A digital arthroplasty which involves the excison of the small bone that forms the joint, allowing movement of the toe post-operatively. 
  • A digital arthrodesis which involves the excision of the small bone that forms the joint, to allow the toe to remain straight, a small wire is passed through the joint to hold it in place whilst your surgery heals. The wire remains in your toe for 4-5 weeks, after which it is simply removed. Post operatively the toe will be rigid.
  • Following a digital arthroplasty, the toe is shortened to the desired pre-marked length and a small flexible, digital implant is placed inside the toe to hold the shortened toe in position, the implant remains within the toe for life. This procedure both shortens the toe which remains flexible.
  • Always carried out under local anaesthetic, reducing health risks compared with general anaesthesia.
  • Toe shortening surgery generally takes 25 – 30 minutes to perform as an Outpatient procedure.
  • Most cases DO NOT require walking casts.
  • Reduced recovery time therefore patients usually back into a pair of trainers 2 weeks after surgery when stitches are removed.
  • Wires are removed between 4 – 6 weeks following surgery.
  • Patients can usually return to work, sport and other leisure activities at around 6 weeks following their Toe Shortening Surgery.
  • The surgical podiatry service at The Lawrence Clinic is regulated by The Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC can be contacted by calling 03000 616161 or by writing to: CQC National Correspondence, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4PA

  • Have a complaint? See our Complaints Policy