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There are millions of people suffering from the deformation of great toes. But, modern surgery proposed an effective solution to this problem. It's called cheilectomy. This procedure involves ‘tidying up' the big toe joint to remove excess bone and increase movement. It is usually very successful. Surgery is normally carried out as a day case procedure using open surgery or arthroscopy under a general anesthetic along with an injection around the ankle so that it's numb and pain-free after surgery.

 

A cheilectomy involves removal of bone spurs that involve the top part of the big toe joint (1st MTP joint). These bone spurs occur as a result of early arthritis of the joint and can cause pain and limited motion of the big toe. The word "cheilectomy" means "the cutting away of a lip of bone."

 

This procedure is indicated in those with painful, limited motion of the big toe that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. This is done to allow increased motion through the big toe MTP joint, to decrease shoe wear irritation from the prominence (bump), and to eliminate some early arthritis on the upper surface of the joint.

 

This procedure is effective only for patients who have arthritis involving the top part (dorsal aspect) of the great toe joint (first MTP joint). While older patients more commonly have arthritis of the big toe, it can be seen in younger adults due to sports trauma or other conditions. In all age groups, the bone spur removal is designed to improve the mobility of the joint.

 

Some occupations and recreational activities may require this joint mobility, so it is important to advise your surgeon of all activities to discuss realistic expectations of this procedure. The cheilectomy procedure is not indicated in patients with extensive arthritis involving the entire joint.

 

The recovery process does not take much time. You will be able to return to your normal way of life, for example, driving a car, walking, sports and running. This is usually 2-4 weeks after surgery, possibly longer in some individuals.

 

Arthritis symptoms usually resolve about one month after surgery. Patients can experience relief for up to 10 years following the surgery. The actual mobility of the joint varies from patient to patient, but most report a satisfactory improvement, with gains in mobility continuing up to a year after surgery.