You want to fuse my big toe joint?!!

Many patients come to my office with pain in their big toe joint that increases with activity and can get very painful and limiting.  When evaluating the patient clinically and on X-ray, I determine if they have end stage arthritis of the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint, or the big toe joint.  There are many forms of nonsurgical and surgical treatment for arthritis in the big toe joint depending on how advanced the arthritis is.  However, for the end-stage arthritis patient who has complete erosion of the cartilage in their joint, surgical arthrodesis or fusion of that joint is the "gold standard" of treatment.

Most patients however don't want to hear that their joint needs to be fused in order to be pain free and to return to activity.  That's a natural thought and concern.  However, what is important to consider is that the patients with end stage arthritis already have drastically limited to no motion in their joint as it is.  If they come in to my office with "bone on bone" arthritis, then a surgical fusion is taking a joint that already doesn't move but is painful to a joint that doesn't move but is pain free.  The goal of the surgery is to allow you to be just as functional as you want to be but without pain.

Hi I am due to have my big toe (left foot ) fused within the next couple of weeks. Please could you give me a quick run through ( with pictures if available )of what this entails. Also give me a few hints and tips for a speedy recovery because i will need to get back to work as soon as possible after the operation. Thanks Mick operation will be taking place in the UK
by Michael Hayne May 13, 2018 at 01:58 AM
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