Arthritis often strikes the joint connecting the big toe to the ball of the foot and can cause significant pain. This affliction is more common as one ages and cartilage wears away between the bones. A surgery can be performed where the bones are fused together with metal plates, but this can limit the flexibility of the toe. Another option is a type of implant that can be inserted between the bones and can cushion the aching joint. Such an implant can be as small as a miniature marshmallow. It is made of saline solution and polyvinyl alcohol, like that used in soft contact lenses. This material compresses a bit under pressure, much like real cartilage. If you suffer from arthritis in the big toe, consult with a podiatrist to see if surgery is a treatment that is right for you.
When Is Surgery Necessary?
Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:
- Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
- Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
- Cosmetic reconstruction
What Types of Surgery Are There?
The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:
- Bunionectomy for painful bunions
- Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
- Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage
Benefits of Surgery
Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.
Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Brunswick and Hinesville, GA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.