Toe Ulcer Treatment – Tenotomy – Frequently Asked Questions


One of the most effective treatments for toe ulcers is a tenotomy.

When an individual has neuropathy, or nerve damage, due to diabetes or another problem such as cellulitis, there is a loss of feeling in the extremities, often in the feet.

At our practice, we often hear questions from our patients as to what a tenotomy is. Here are some frequently asked questions:

How does diabetes cause neuropathy? Uncontrolled sugar in the bloodstream can damage nerve cells, lessening sensation and causing pain and numbness.

What causes a toe ulcer? Without adequate sensation in the toes, a minor cut, scrape or puncture wound can quickly develop into a serious sore called an ulcer. Left untreated, this condition may require amputating the toe.

How do toe ulcers form? Patients with toe deformities such as a hammertoe, claw toe or mallet toe often get calluses and other skin injuries which can escalate into a serious ulcer.

How can these ulcers be healed? One way is to reduce the amount of deformity in the toe to prevent rubbing and irritation on footwear.

What is a tenotomy? A flexor tenotomy procedure lessens the deformity and also heals the toe ulcer. This minimally-invasive procedure releases the tendon and the toe resumes its normal position.

What is involved in a tenotomy? A tenotomy is an outpatient procedure with no hospitalization required. We perform the surgery in our office with local anesthetic.

What kind of recovery period is required? After a tenotomy, you will wear a special shoe that protects your toe and also maintains it in the proper position. It normally takes 4-6 weeks for full recovery.

 Don’t let toe sores deteriorate into toe ulcers. Come in to our office for an evaluation of the skin damage you may already have. You may be a candidate for a tenotomy to ease the toe deformity and heal the wound.

Toe Ulcers Will Not Heal By Themselves

Foot or toe pain is not normal! If you have any skin damage on your feet or toes, discomfort from arthritis, an injury or just from overuse, please call Michele Kurlanski, DPM at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Kurlanski offers expert and professional podiatry services in Cumberland County, Maine. Please call us today at 207-774-0028 to schedule your appointment in our Scarborough office.