Total Joint Replacement in the Foot?

Anything you can do, I can do. How many people do we know, or have heard of, have underwent a replacement of a shoulder, hip, or knee joint? I would wager more than those who have had a big toe joint replaced. Yes, you read correctly. You can replace the entire big toe joint like you would a knee.

What determines the use for a total joint replacement of the big toe?

Like any other joint replacement, the major indication is Arthritis. Yes, you can develop arthritis in your big toe. In fact, you can develop arthritis in any joint in the body. Does that mean you can replace any joint? No, because implants have not been developed for the majority of the joints AND the logistics of replacing many of the joints would be extremely difficult if not impossible.

Implant Designs:

Two types: Hemi-implant AND Total Implant

The Hemi-implant only replaces one half of the big toe joint whereas the total replaces both ends. The material consists of titanium or cobalt type alloy. Total joint implants involve replacement of both ends of the joint and are typically made of a silastic polymer with some metal alloy.

Big toe replacements, like other types of total joint replacements are typically not a treatment of choice in the younger, more active population. The reason being that all of these implants have a shelf life. Most implants are truly only good for 10-20 years.

There are potential problems that can occur with any implant; screw, plate, or a joint implant. The biggest complication is a negative response to the implant material.

If you are in need of any form of foot/ankle care, please contact Dr. Bowman at at713-467-8886 or browse our website for more information.

Category: Surgery

Tags: Big Toe Joint, Joint Replacement, Surgery, Toe Pain