Pain in the big toe joint can be caused by inappropriate footwear, big toe deformity, inflammation in the joint or some wear and tear in the joint. Once cartilage is damaged it does not grow back. This can lead to arthritis in the big toe joint called hallux rigidus. When conservative treatment has failed, surgery becomes an option. In milder forms of degeneration, one can perform a cheilectomy which removes prominent bone and any inflammation in the joint. In the more severe cases, a fusion of the big toe joint becomes necessary. This means the joint is made stiff and does not move.
For a few years now a new implant has become available that provides another successful treatment option. The so-called Cartiva implant “resurfaces” part of the joint, it helps to reduce the pain further and preserves the range of motion. This implant is a synthetic substance similar to the one used in contact lenses. Implanting the device does not need a lot of bone resection but is rather a “resurfacing” of the joint. So far, short and midterm results have been very good, reducing the need for a fusion substantially. The Cartiva implant is associated with very high patient satisfaction rate.
If you are suffering from pain in the big toe joint, contact me today.