Hallux Rigidus – Arthritis of the big toe

Arthritis of the great toe is common, and can occur after injury or trauma or with imbalance of the ligaments. It often affects younger patients than hip and knee arthritis and can be very debilitating. There are several options for treating hallux rigidus, but the mainstay options include either a cheilectomy to remove of bone spurs from the top of the joint or a fusion of the painful joint. Both of these treatments can be performed with an MIS approach. For cheilectomy, the surgeon will use a special instrument to remove the spur through a 3mm incision near the painful bone spur. Due to the small size of the incision, our patients report minimal pain following the surgery and they are allowed to walk immediately since there is so little risk of wound complications. The picture to the left shows the before and after appearance of a patient who underwent simultaneous bilateral cheilectomies. She was able to walk immediately and her pain was significantly improved even at 2 weeks. The central image shows the bone spur before and after it is removed with the burr. The image to the right shows a patient who underwent a MIS 1st MTP fusion. You can see the severity of her arthritis on the pre-operative xray and the successful fusion by 6 weeks.

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