A first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint replacement treats arthritis of the big toe. The joint is removed and replaced with metal, plastic or both. The primary goal is to lessen pain. Another goal of the surgery is to retain motion and improve the position of your big toe.
Although you may also need great toe replacement after an injury, more often the procedure is performed if you are dealing with the effects of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, such as hallux rigidus, which is the growth of bone spurs on the great toe joint due to bones rubbing together. The main symptoms are pain and loss of motion at the joint between the big toe and the foot. Your doctor will examine you and take X-rays to determine the extent of your arthritis.
If you are older or have limited demands on your feet and your foot pain is interfering with your daily life—even while you are resting—you may be a good candidate for great toe replacement.
Big Toe Arthritis (Hallux Rigidus)
Hallux rigidus is arthritis of the joint at the base of the big toe.
Great Big Toe Joint Disorder
Hallux rigidus is a disorder of the joint located at the base of the great big toe. It causes pain and stiffness in the joint.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints. Cartilage cushions the bones during movement.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where the immune system attacks the joint lining tissue, causing painful inflammation and stiffness.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam to assess the strength, range of motion, and condition of your great toe. To better understand the damage, your doctor may need X-rays taken of your foot.
Great toe replacement (for severe conditions):
Your deformity should be corrected during the surgery, as the implant will fail if it is not addressed. There are many different types and brands of implants. Your doctor will determine the proper one based on the evaluation.
What to expect during recovery:
It may take up to eight weeks for you to be able to regularly bear full weight on the toe.