This surgical procedure is performed to help relieve pain in the front of the foot and correct deformities in the MTP joint of the big toe caused by injury, arthritis or genetic defect. The procedure fuses the bone at the base of the big toe to the first metatarsal bone of the foot.
The patient is positioned so that the top of the foot is clearly visible to the surgeon. Anesthetic is administered then the area is cleaned and sterilized.
Accessing the Joint
An incision is made above the MTP joint over the big toe and the joint is examined. Cartilage in the joint between the bones is removed. If the toe is misaligned, the bones are repositioned.
Fusing the Joint
A metal pin, screws, or plates are inserted through the bones to hold them in place for fusion and to angle the big toe slightly upward for walking. Bone graft may be placed around the joint to aid in fusion. A metal plate may also be placed above the joint to stabilize the toe.
End of Procedure
The incision is closed with sutures or surgical staples. The foot is bandaged and may be placed in a specialized splint or half-cast. The patient may be able to leave the hospital the same day as the procedure.
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.