What is it?
“Percutaneous” means across/through the skin, and “Tenotomy” means to cut or make a hole in a tendon; thus, Percutaneous Tenotomy is a procedure where a needle is advanced through the skin to make small holes and slices in a tendon.
This method of tendon lengthening has been used for many years by other specialties and now its utilized for the digital contractures including, but not limited to, hammertoes, claw toes and mallet toes.
This procedure is utilized in the digital contractures that are considered flexible or semi flexible, meaning you can fully or partially extend them by stretching them out. Digital deformities will usually lead to discomfort/ pain on the top, tip, or the side of the toes. There is usually a presence of a callus, corn or an open ulcer formation, indicating abnormal stress/pressure.
This treatment can also be used in people with diabetes where digital contractures can create pressure points and lead to callous and ulcer formation. This technique provides an effective way to alleviate painful or ulcerative digital lesions with a low risk of failure. It can be used to help in the healing of digital ulcers or as a preventative procedure.
Overall, percutaneous tenotomy is an effective therapy for correcting the majority of lesser toe deformities and it can be done in a clinical setting under local anaesthetic.
Patients do not require sutures, they can weight bear immediately after the procedure and the complications are minimal. A percutaneous access, which is a very small hole seals easily and heals very quickly.