First Metatarsal - Phalangeal Joint Arthrodesis

Severe arthritis, injury or genetic defect within the front of the foot and toes may cause pain that makes it difficult to walk and wear shoes.  While conservative treatments such as shoe modifications, injections and orthotics are effective for some patients, others may require surgery in order to achieve effective symptom relief.

Surgery for arthritis of the first metatarsal (big toe) may involve joint arthrodesis, which is a fusion of the bones in the joint to prevent them from rubbing against each other and causing pain. The bones are held together with metal screws and a plate to help them heal in place.

The foot is bandaged and may be placed in a specialized splint or half-cast. A moving cast or wooden-soled shoe may be required for up to six weeks after a subsequent check-up. Full recovery usually takes six to nine months.

Patients usually experience successful pain relief after this procedure and may have swelling in the toe for several months during the healing process. Your SBO foot and ankle surgeon will discuss which treatment option is the best option for your condition.