Surgical treatment is sometimes the only method of reducing or relieving pain. Several different surgical procedures are available for treating hallux rigidus. Dr. Radovic will consider a number of factors when choosing the suitable procedure or combination of procedures for a patient, such as age, activity level and the extent of deformity based on x-ray results. Patients should expect variable recovery periods depending on the type of procedure or procedures performed.
Some procedures reconstruct and "clean up" the joint. The foot and ankle surgeon removes the arthritic damage from the joint as well as any accompanying bone spurs, and then alters the position of one or more bones in the big toe. These procedures are designed to preserve and restore normal alignment and function of the joint as well as reduce or eliminate pain.
More aggressive procedures are used when the joint cannot be preserved. These may involve fusing the joint, or removing part or all of the joint and, in some cases, replacing it with an implant, such as is done for the hip or knee. These procedures eliminate painful motion in the joint and provide a stable foot.
The procedure that is used to correct hallux rigidus depends on many factors, including the cause of the condition and the severity, as well as the patient's age, occupation and activity level. Your foot and ankle surgeon is trained to select a surgical procedure best suited to your particular condition and needs.
If surgery is performed, the length of the recovery period will vary, depending upon the procedure or procedures performed. In most cases walking is permitted in a surgical boot for 3-6 weeks.