Pros and Cons of Big Toe Fusion
If you have big toe arthritis, you’ll likely to undergo Big Toe Fusion Surgery aka, Arthrodesis which is known to be a friendly method to treat the pain. Big toe fusion surgery is a surgical procedure that joins the bones in the big toe. If you have this surgery, you will need to wear a cast for six weeks and limit your movement for the first two weeks. The main cause of more frequent surgery for this procedure is arthritis of the toes. This can make it more difficult to move your toes around because all the pressure goes to one toe. A common complication with this procedure is an infection or damage to other toes.
Who needs to get this procedure done and why?
As per the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, about 20% of Americans suffer from Hallux Rigidus. Although this condition isn't life-threatening, it can be painful and make everyday activities difficult for those suffering from it. According to the Mayoclinic, 90% of patients who follow post-operative instructions will have a successful recovery.
Big toe fusion is a surgical procedure that involves joining the first and second metatarsals of the big toe. You may need this surgery if you have severe arthritis or other foot problems such as hammertoe, bunions, and flat feet. This condition can leave your toes feeling numb and weak. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, then you should see your podiatrist for more information about big toe fusion.
What are the Pros of Big Toe Fusion?
The number one reason people choose Big Toe Fusion Surgery is that they want relief from their constant pain. If you're considering surgery or have already had a consultation scheduled with an orthopedist in your area, here are some pros of Big Toe Fusion Procedure for you.
1. Pain Relief
The main reason for this surgery is to relieve the pain and numbness felt in your toes. There are other reasons for the surgery, such as a need to join another toe or bone after an injury or physical ailment of some sort. You can wear a cast for six weeks and limit your movement for the first two weeks.
2. Alignment of the Big Toe
Another primary reason for having this surgery done is to help your big toes or feet align with one another. The pain and numbness in your toes can cause you to walk awkwardly. If you're experiencing these types of symptoms, then you might want to talk with your podiatrist about big toe fusion. And that’s one of the main pros of Big Toe Fusion for Professional athletes.
3. You don't Have Bone Spurs When After Surgery
You won't have any bone spurs forming after this surgery is done, but it's important to note that if something like this has already occurred, then the chances are high that the surgeon will find it during their evaluation process. You need to be proactive in communicating with your doctor about your symptoms.
4. Treatment of Arthritis and other foot Problems
The surgery is most commonly used to help your big toe feel more normal again. You can usually walk after the cast comes off, but you won't be allowed to put weight on your foot for six weeks. This is a standard recovery time frame when having this specific type of surgery done.
5. Riddance of Discomfort is one of the Beneficial Pros of Big Toe Fusion
Usually, people choose to go through this procedure to take care of some bunion-related pain and discomfort that plagues their daily lives. It's important not to neglect any pain that occurs in and around your big toes because it could wind up being something too serious to ignore.
What are the Cons of Big Toe Fusion?
There are a few things here and there that you will need to worry about when it comes time to have this surgery done. They include an infection or damage to other toes, a longer recovery time frame, and less mobility overall for your big toe(s) during the first two weeks following surgery.
A 1st MTPJ fusion has the same risks as any other operation. Fortunately, these are uncommon in this sort of surgery, but they're something you should be aware of. The following are some cons of Big Toe Fusion Surgery that your surgeon will discuss throughout or after the procedure.
1. Risk of infection is higher with this procedure
One of the significant problems that people experience with having this surgery done is infections occurring in or around your foot. This is why it's essential not to take any chances with anything involving your feet if at all possible. You may also face a situation where the surgeon might have to create a new incision if the first one heals poorly.
2. Risk of Damage to Other Toes
Another problem that arises from having big toe fusion done is possible damage to other toes on your foot. This can happen because the surgeon will have no choice but to cut through some of those bones for them to get at the ones they need to deal with.
3. Failure Rate
According to the NHS, there's a 5-10% chance your big toe won't fuse as planned, necessitating a second operation to correct it. Smokers are at a far higher risk of this problem. As a result, quit smoking before and during your big toe fusion.
4. More Recovery Time is one of the Cons of Big Toe Fusion
The recovery time frame associated with big toe fusion takes up a lot more room than what you're going to experience when dealing with a Bunionectomy or any other kind of surgery involving just your feet and not your toes. You'll need at least six weeks of recovery time before you can resume walking because your foot will be immobilized for this period.
5. Less mobility for Two Weeks
You won't have much movement in or around your big toe(s) for at least two weeks after the surgery is completed. This will be due to a cast being used during this timeframe to help keep everything in place and promote proper healing. Make sure that you follow all of the instructions given by your surgeon if you want this process to go as smoothly as possible. The common cons of Big toe Fusion Procedure are immobility, discomfort, and disruptions in daily activities.
Conclusion on the Pros and Cons of Arthrodesis
In the end, people have a lot to think about before deciding that they want to go through with Arthrodesis. It's essential not just for you but also for your doctor because they need to know what is going on to make a calculated decision. Extensive toe fusion surgery shouldn't be taken lightly or done without consideration for all factors involved, so it's best to do some research beforehand rather than waiting until after things happen.