Big Toe Joint Replacement Surgery is an option when conservative treatment such as shoe modifications, cortisone injections, and orthotics have failed to give pain relief. Big Toe Joint Replacement Surgery is an option for patients with a type of Bunion typically associated with arthritis and breakdown of the great toe joint known as Hallux Rigidus.
Prior to surgery, our foot doctors will obtain digital x-rays in the office and will discuss the procedure that would be optimal for your bunion. Big Toe Joint Replacement Surgery generally takes about an hour to complete under IV sedation and takes place in an out patient setting. Da Vinci Foot and Ankle currently performs surgery at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Greensboro, Ga, Putnam General in Eatonton, GA and University McDuffie Hospital in Thomson, GA. Due to the anesthesia, patients are not permitted to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery and are not permitted to drive them self home after the surgery. Lastly, a prescription for pain medicine will be given for comfort after the procedure.
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Big Toe Joint Replacement Surgery
As laser surgery is not available for Big Toe Joint Replacement Surgery, a small incision is made on the side of the foot resulting in a minor scar. The surgery involves shaving down the prominent “bump” off the top of the joint and removing any additional bone spurs that are within the joint. It is not uncommon to find loose pieces of bone, bone fragments, and broken bone that may be causing the joint to jam similar to how a door stop works. Once the joint has been cleaned of any and all bone spurs, we are able to assess the remaining cartilage of the joint as well as how “tight” the joint is. This allows us to determine if a Big Toe Joint Replacement is indicated and would benefit the patient.
After surgery, a post-operative block is administered around the surgical site to offer numbness and a painless recovery for the return home. Even thought the foot may stay numb until the for up to 2 days after surgery, it is recommend that pain medication and an anti-inflammatory are initiated the same day of surgery. It is important to ice and elevate the foot afterwards and in addition to generally resting, as this will aid in a smooth recovery.
After Big Toe Joint Replacement Surgery
The post-operative course for this surgery includes a sterile dressing and a walking boot. The dressing is not to be changed or tampered with until seen by the doctor 1 week after surgery. Patients are permitted to walk on the operative foot as instructed by your surgeon. Depending on surgeon preference, patients will be transitioned back to a supportive athletic shoe as tolerated typically one week after the surgery. In general it is advised to decrease or modify your activities after surgery as post-operative pain and swelling is correlated to patient activities. Aside from our extensive surgical training, one thing that also separates Da Vinci Foot and Ankle from the competition is that we treat all of our surgical patients with MLS Laser Therapy immediately after surgery. This additional care enhances tissue healing, reduce swelling and pain, and ultimately speeds up patients recovery time.
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