Hammer toe correction using an absorbable pin

Foot Ankle Int. 2011 Oct;32(10):973-8. doi: 10.3113/FAI.2011.0973.


Background: Fixed flexion deformity of the proximal interphalangeal joint with or without hyperextension of the metatarsaophalangeal joint, hammertoe, is one of the most common foot deformities. Many surgical options have been recommended including the use of a more flexible PDS Orthosorb absorbable pin for fixation. The authors, using the PDS pin technique, reported some coronal angulations with painful soft corns requiring surgical correction. A new proximal interphalangeal joint arthrodesis procedure for hammer toe deformities utilizing a stiffer poly L-lactate 2-mm absorbable pin for internal fixation is presented.

Methods: Forty-seven toe procedures were done on 29 patients followed for an average of 18 (range, 10 to 36) months. Final evaluation included: physical exam, X-rays, MRI scan, AOFAS score, and a patient satisfaction survey.

Results: Utilization of the stiffer poly-L-lactate absorbable pin resulted in minimal coronal angulations, no soft corns, high fusion rates and patient satisfaction.

Conclusion: The stiffer poly-L-lactate absorbable pin technique in this study was found to be superior to the published results using other methods of fixation including the more flexible PDS absorbable pin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthrodesis / instrumentation*
  • Bone Nails*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hammer Toe Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Hammer Toe Syndrome / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Internal Fixators*
  • Lactic Acid*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyesters
  • Polymers*
  • Radiography
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Polyesters
  • Polymers
  • Lactic Acid
  • poly(lactide)