The MTP Fusion procedure involves fusing (or ‘soldering’) the great toe joint (first MTP joint) together.
The goal of surgery is to make the great joint solidly aligned and immobile. This eliminates much of the pain since there will now be NO motion through the arthritic joint. Great toe fusion is typically performed in patients who already have significant arthritis of the 1st MTP joint (late stage or severe hallux rigidus). It can also be successfully used, however, as a salvage procedure for patients with severe bunion deformities (hallux valgus).
To fuse the great toe joint, any remnant cartilage on the arthritic joint surface is removed and the underlying bone is prepared for fusion. The joint is positioned in a manner which maximizes the walking ability and maintains acceptable clinical alignment. This is traditionally done with the toe positioned so that it just gently touches the ground in a weight-bearing position. The fused joint is typically fixated with two or three screws, although alternatively a plate may be used to stabilize the joint.