In the past, arthritis of the big toe (Hallux Rigidus) meant one of three things:
- Manage with orthotics (insoles) and footwear adjustment
- An operation to shave some of the bone off and decompress the joint (Cheilectomy)
- An operation to fuse the big toe
Now, patients have another option to choose. The Cartiva implant. Mr. O’Flaherty is delighted to be able to now offer this option to his patients, depending on suitability.
In arthritis of the big toe, the cartilage in the ball of the big toe gets worn away, exposing the bone underneath. This rubs together leading to pain.
The Cartiva Implant:
- Replaces the damaged cartilage with an implant. This has a similar strength to human cartilage.
- Provides pain relief
- Allows motion at the ball of the big toe to be maintained. This is especially important in active people who do not wish to have a ‘stiff’ big toe, such as runners, cyclists, tennis players and those who regularly go to the gym.
- Quicker recovery time compared to a fusion.
- ‘Burns no bridges’ – there is minimal bone loss, allowing an easy revision to a fusion should it be required ‘down the line’.
It is not suitable in the following cases:
- Patients with a large bunion (Hallux Valgus)
- Patients with a history of Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis or other Inflammatory Arthropathy.
- A history of severe infection in the big toe.
- Patients with multiple surgeries to the big toe in the past. (Some patients who have undergone Cheilectomy in the past may be suitable).
- A history of hormone/endocrine issues.
If you think that this is a procedure that you would be interested in, please make an appointment to se Mr. O’Flaherty by telephoning 02890 687444. He will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.