Does hallux rigidus require surgery?
Patients who have mild cases of hallux rigidus can be treated conservatively. Conservative treatment includes activity modification, shoe modifications, insoles or orthotic devices, anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections.
What are the surgical treatment options for hallux rigidus?
In severe cases of hallux rigidus where persistent pain and loss of function persists, surgery may be the best option. Our orthopaedic surgeons offer several surgical approaches that can improve this condition. For some patients, an arthroscopic debridement of the joint can alleviate pain. With a small incision, a cheilectomy is another procedure that is used to remove bone spurs around the big toe joint. This helps preserve the joint and often decreases pain and improves mobility. In patients who have significantly reduced joint space, a synthetic cartilage implant may be an option. This is an FDA approved implant known as Cartiva. For patients who have severe motion limitation and degenerative changes in the joint, a fusion of the joint may be needed.
What happens after hallux rigidus surgery?
Post-operative recovery following surgery for hallux rigidus will depend on the surgery that was performed. Instructions on how to begin mobility of the joint will occur soon after surgery. Some patients are allowed to weight bear immediately in a hard sole (postoperative) shoe. It is essential that patients follow the post-operative protocol for recovery as set forth by our surgeons since this is a crucial part of the healing process.