Although you may not realize it, your big toe plays a sizeable role in helping you get around. Your big toe bends with every step you take, and the exact location of this bend is occurring at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. This joint connects the first long bone in your forefoot (metatarsal) to the first bone of your big toe (phalanx). Not surprisingly, the MTP joint is prone to degeneration because the joint supports more than half your body weight for a brief moment as you push your feet off the ground with every step you take.
When this degeneration begins to erode the MTP joint, pain, discomfort and limited range of motion can set in as osteoarthritis takes its toll. While there are ways to help slow the progression of the condition, there’s no real way to reverse the effects of osteoarthritis and restore joint health. However, we may have found the next best thing in the Cartiva implant.
Big Toe Joint Replacement
The Cartiva implant is a synthetic polymer device that mimics the actions of a healthy joint. With a short and minimally invasive operation, a surgeon can remove the damaged joint and insert a synthetic device that will no longer cause pain or discomfort with movement. The majority of people who undergo the surgery say their pain has decreased or been eliminated and their range of motion is the same or better than it was prior to surgery.
Best of all, the design of the device is such that it will remain durable for years. In fact, estimates show that 95 percent of patients do not need a second surgery to address an issue or replace a worn down implant. One minimally invasive surgery, and you’re back to doing the activities that you love.
You may have heard us talk about Cartiva on the blog in the past, but that’s because Dr. Silverman is one of if not the foremost expert on the topic here in the Twin Cities. He actually performed the first Cartiva implant operation in Minneapolis and Burnsville, and he’s one of only a few physicians in the area who perform the surgery. He also sat down with Fox 9 to discuss this revolutionary surgery.
So if you’re suffering from pain or discomfort in one or both of your big toe joints, reach out to Dr. Silverman’s office for more imformation. He’d be happy to perform a diagnosis and walk through your conservative care treatment options, or he can dive deeper into the specifics about Cartiva if he believes that’s your best route. To talk with him about your toe pain, reach out to his office at (952) 224-8500.