Surgical Treatment of Hallux Limitus
If conservative therapy fails there are surgical procedures that can help lessen or sometimes eliminate the pain altogether. If the condition is mild then removing the painful spurs and drilling any areas of damaged cartilage to promote fibrocartilage formation can help. This procedure is called a cheilectomy. Occasionally an osteotomy may also be performed in which surgical cuts are made in the bone to correct structural abnormalities. This may be held in place with screws, pins or wires while the bone heals. There are also synthetic implants that can be used to replace the joint, similar to knees and hips. This has the benefit of maintaining some motion in the joint. However, these implants can sometimes wear out over time requiring revisional surgery. When the joint damage is severe, the most effective procedure may be fusion (aka arthrodesis) of the great toe joint. The bones are fused together on both sides of the joint effectively eliminating the painful motion which is occurring. This will typically require a plate and several screws to hold the bones in place. Although the joint no longer moves, this usually ensures the toe is pain free. Your age and activity level will play a big factor in deciding which procedure is best for you.
If you think you are suffering from this condition please contact us so that we can set up an evaluation and help lessen your pain.