Foot Surgery: Degenerative Joint Disease

Image of the toe joint showing bone growth

Degenerative joint disease (arthritis) often happens in the joint of a big toe. This bone growth may cause pain and stiffness in the joint. Left untreated, arthritis can break down the cartilage and destroy the joint. Your treatment choices depend on how damaged your joint is. There are many nonsurgical treatments, but if these are not helpful, surgery may be considered.

Image of big toe joint showing bone growth trimmed

Cheilectomy

This is done when the arthritic joint and cartilage can be saved. A bone spur caused by arthritis may be symptomatic on the top of the big toe joint. The procedure involves removing this bone spur, usually with a small part of the top of the joint itself.  You will need to wear a surgical shoe for several weeks. Once the foot heals, joint movement is restored.

Image of big toe joint showing joint removed and screws fusing the bones together

Fusion

In fusion, the cartilage and some bone on both sides of the joint are removed. Then, the big toe and metatarsal bones are held together with staples, screws, or a plate and screws. Your foot may be placed in a cast. While you heal, you will be asked not to bear weight on this foot. You may also need crutches for several weeks. Because the joint has been removed, your toe will be less flexible.

Image of the big toe joint  showing the part of the joint removed and a pin connecting the bones

Arthroplasty

During surgery, bone growth caused by the arthritis is trimmed, and part of the joint is removed. A pin can be used to align the bones and to keep them from touching. The pin is removed after several weeks. In some cases, the entire joint may be replaced with an implant. You may have to wear a splint or a surgical shoe for several weeks. When healed, the bones become connected with scar tissue.



Back

Contact Us for a Free
Consultation & Care Assessment

Let's Get Started

Contact Us for a Free Consultation
and Care Assessment

Greenwich, CT:

203-532-0500

Westchester, NY:

914-517-0520

235 Glenville Road 3rd Floor,
Greenwhich, Connecticut 06831


Learning Center

Medication Library

Find medication information to help educate patients, families and caregivers.

Diseases & Conditions Library

Find detailed information on a wide range of health conditions, illnesses, and treatments.

Aging Wellness Center

Find helpful articles to make the most out of your golden years.

Resource Links

Find links to helpful aging resources around the internet

Blog

Find the latest information and announcements from Sterling Care.