Transforming Hammertoe Procedures: Forma Medical’s OptimalHT Revolutionizes MIS Hammertoe Arthrodes | By Andrew C. Davison


  • Today, I want to take you on a journey through the challenges of hammertoe deformities, the birth of OptimalHT, its key benefits, and our commitment to advancing surgery.
  • This innovation leverages the advancements in foot and ankle care to not only enhance patient outcomes and surgeon experiences but also to create a cost-effective and widely applicable approach within the medical field.
  • These deformities result in discomfort, pain, and a noticeable reduction in the quality of life by misaligning toe joints, causing them to take on a distinctive bent, hammer-like appearance.

As the President and CEO of Forma Medical, I am excited to share how our groundbreaking approach, known as OptimalHT, is set to revolutionize hammertoe treatment. Our mission at Forma Medical has always been clear: to enhance the lives of patients by providing innovative surgical solutions. Today, I want to take you on a journey through the challenges of hammertoe deformities, the birth of OptimalHT, its key benefits, and our commitment to advancing surgery.

Understanding Patients with Hammertoe Deformities: A Growing Concern

Hammertoe deformities present a significant challenge for a diverse and expanding patient demographic. This condition, often associated with aging, affects millions of individuals worldwide, with the patient population set to expand as the aging baby boomer generation grows older. These deformities result in discomfort, pain, and a noticeable reduction in the quality of life by misaligning toe joints, causing them to take on a distinctive bent, hammer-like appearance. Historically, addressing hammertoe issues has often necessitated invasive surgical procedures that come with extended recovery times, discomfort, swelling, and the concern of visible scarring.

Hammertoe Surgery: A Common Challenge with No Single Standard of Care

Hammertoe correction surgery is among the most frequently operated surgical procedures in the foot. However, despite their prevalence, there exists no single standard of care or reproducible method for addressing this condition. Traditional surgical approaches have been effective to some extent, but they often come with drawbacks, including prolonged recovery periods and varying degrees of success.

The lack of a standardized approach in hammertoe correction has created a significant gap in patient care. Patients seeking relief from the discomfort and limitations imposed by hammertoes are faced with uncertainty regarding treatment options and outcomes. This uncertainty not only affects patients but also challenges the surgical community to continually seek more effective solutions.

The Hammertoe Marketing Opportunity: Transforming an Underserved Surgical Field

In the ever-evolving landscape of foot and ankle surgery, we’ve witnessed remarkable advancements in the treatment of bunion deformities. The entrance of new players into this domain has brought forth innovative procedures that not only improve patient care but also ensure reproducible surgical outcomes. These developments have marked a significant evolution in the field, setting higher standards for the entire foot and ankle community.

As the market for bunion deformity procedures continues to mature, it has ignited a sense of optimism within the medical community. This optimism stems from the belief that the model of enhancing patient care and reproducibility can be extended beyond bunions. It has led healthcare professionals to cast their gaze towards other underserved patient populations grappling with various surgical procedures. Among these areas primed for transformation, one that stands out prominently is hammertoe correction.

The Birth of OptimalHT: A Minimally Invasive Solution

Our quest to transform hammertoe correction began with a profound commitment to research and development. Forma Medical assembled an expert team in foot and ankle surgery, biomechanics, medical device engineering, and commercialization to address the limitations of traditional hammertoe treatment. The result is OptimalHT—an innovative, minimally invasive solution poised to revolutionize hammertoe arthrodesis.

Drawing upon the recent strides made in foot and ankle innovation, OptimalHT represents a straightforward, easily replicable, and efficient procedure designed to benefit both patients and surgeons alike. These advantages, however, extend beyond the operating room, as they also hold immense value for those responsible for covering the costs of the procedure. OptimalHT offers a scalable and readily adoptable solution, making it an attractive option for payers in the healthcare marketplace. This innovation leverages the advancements in foot and ankle care to not only enhance patient outcomes and surgeon experiences but also to create a cost-effective and widely applicable approach within the medical field.

Key Benefits of OptimalHT

OptimalHT presents five key advantages poised to revolutionize the way surgeons approach hammertoe procedures, ultimately improving patient recovery. This innovative solution streamlines surgical processes, minimizes invasiveness, and ensures predictability in outcomes while being cost effective. Its integration into clinical practice holds the potential to elevate surgical precision and post-operative comfort, setting new standards for hammertoe treatment.

  1. Minimally Invasive Approach: The key to OptimalHT’s success lies in its minimally invasive approach, which significantly reduces the amount of soft tissue disruption that patients experience during hammertoe correction. With smaller incisions and minimal trauma to surrounding tissues, this approach aims to not only accelerates the healing process but also minimizes post-operative pain and discomfort.
  2. Accuracy: OptimalHT’s precision instrumentation is a patent-pending feature that plays a central role in ensuring ideal implant placement and, consequently, effective deformity correction. Surgeons can rely on this advanced technology to achieve precise and consistent results.
  3. Reproducibility: One of the standout features of OptimalHT is its commitment to delivering consistent results across a diverse range of patients and operating room environments. The system and procedure are meticulously designed to produce the same optimal outcomes every time. This predictability offers peace of mind to surgeons, ensuring that they can trust in the effectiveness of the treatment regardless of individual variations.
  4. Simplicity: The OptimalHT procedure is purpose-built for hammertoe correction, which translates into a straightforward and intuitive surgical kit. Surgeons can focus on the task at hand with confidence, knowing that OptimalHT provides them with the tools and techniques needed for successful hammertoe correction.
  5. Affordability: In an era where the aging population is growing, the need for cost-effective healthcare solutions becomes increasingly crucial. OptimalHT addresses this concern by being designed, manufactured, and sold in a scalable and affordable manner. This approach ensures that more patients can access this innovative procedure, making it a practical and sustainable choice for both healthcare providers and patients seeking quality hammertoe correction. By prioritizing affordability, OptimalHT aligns with the evolving demands of the healthcare landscape and strives to make improved foot and ankle care accessible to a wider demographic.

Early Clinical Success Stories

OptimalHT has already been employed in more than 50 minimally invasive hammertoe procedures, demonstrating remarkable potential in its initial outcomes. Surgeons have expressed their satisfaction with the procedure’s use of small incisions, which contributes to the rapid return to normal daily life for patients, especially within the active aging elderly demographic.

One of our surgeons’ customers recently expressed to us:

“Retrograde k-wire fixation has been an acceptable treatment for decades, yet I’ve recently come to appreciate that some patients are returning to my practice years later with recurrent toe deformities. When I give them the choice, they also seem to be less tolerant of the pins sticking out of the toe and more inclined to pursue a quicker return to standard footwear,” said Jesse Doty, MD, Erlanger Health System, Chattanooga. “With OptimalHT, it’s been seamless for me to incorporate the proven results of a k-wire or to take it a step further with more reliable fixation in a repeatable way that my patients find less inconvenient.”

Advancing Foot and Ankle Surgery Medicine through Innovation

Foot and Ankle Surgery is evolving, and patient expectations are changing. This transformation can be seen in the bunion surgery space, where innovation and patient demands have altered treatment approaches. With OptimalHT, we intend to achieve the same by contributing to the global trend of minimally invasive surgery, driven by reduced pain, shorter recovery times, and improved outcomes. OptimalHT is at the forefront, setting new standards in hammertoe correction. As CEO of Forma Medical, I am proud to lead a company that contributes to the advancement of surgical treatment.

A Patient-Centric Approach

Our journey has always been guided by a patient-centric approach. We listen to patients, understand their needs, and develop solutions that improve their quality of life. OptimalHT is no exception. We sought patient feedback and collaborated with healthcare professionals to create a procedure that addresses hammertoe deformities effectively.  OptimalHT is the starting point for Forma Medical, we will continue to follow a patient centered model to address other unmet clinical needs.

Forma Medical’s Commitment to Advancing Orthopedic Surgery

Forma Medical’s commitment extends far beyond the early success of OptimalHT. While we are proud of the transformative impact that OptimalHT has had on hammertoe correction, our vision goes beyond this singular achievement. We are dedicated to continuously pioneering advancements in the medical device field, driven by an unwavering commitment to improving patient outcomes and elevating the quality of care provided by healthcare professionals.

Our competitive edge lies in our steadfast investment in research and development. Our dedicated R&D team is at the forefront of innovation, tirelessly working to push the boundaries of surgical technology. With a focus on creating next-generation systems, we are actively developing cutting-edge solutions that promise to redefine how orthopedic conditions are treated. As we move forward, Forma Medical is dedicated to expanding our product portfolio to address a wide range of orthopedic challenges, ensuring that healthcare providers have access to the most advanced tools and technologies available. Our mission is to continue making a lasting impact on the field of orthopedic surgery, empowering both patients and healthcare professionals with innovative solutions that enhance the overall quality of care.


Our innovative OptimalHT solution was purposefully designed to treat hammertoe in a minimally invasive and reproducible manner, catering to a substantial yet underserved market. Forma Medical’s OptimalHT represents a significant leap forward in hammertoe correction. Our commitment to innovation, patient-centric approach, and dedication to improving surgery led us to this groundbreaking solution. We are excited about the positive impact that OptimalHT will have on patients’ lives and the foot and ankle surgical community. We invite foot and ankle surgeons to explore this transformative procedure and join us in shaping the future of hammertoe correction.

Author Bio

Andrew C. Davison is the CEO of Forma Medical, a leading medical device company specializing in innovative solutions for orthopedic surgery. With a background in healthcare innovation and a passion for improving patient outcomes, Andrew has led Forma Medical to the forefront of foot and ankle surgery. Under his leadership, the company continues to pioneer groundbreaking solutions like OptimalHT, transforming the way hammertoe procedures are performed.


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