Foot joint implants can offer relief when severe joint damage results from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, bunions or hallux rigidis. Stubbing one’s toe severely can also lead to significant joint damage. Often, the pain and/or limited range of motion leave few other options. Rheumatoid arthritis leads to inflammation of the cartilage surround the joints; osteoarthritis deteriorates the cartilage. When walking becomes too painful, implant surgery may be a consideration.
Prior to determining that joint implant surgery is the proper course of action, your physician may try orthotics, injections, or medication to alleviate the pain or correct the foot alignment. Surgical Procedures Some procedures, such as keller anthroscopy, simply involve removal of part of the bone to allow for decompression and provide room for soft tissue to grow in; however, the pain could return at some point as the bones begin to grind against one another again. Fusion is another option, however, when two bones are fused, motion is limited. Hemi-Joint Arthroplasty, a joint implant procedure, involves reshaping the metatarsal head to remove any bony spurs or growths and resurfacing of the phalange with a smooth-surfaced component. The implant reduces pain, avoids bone-to-bone contact and facilities a full range of motion.
The metal implant is designed to fit to the phalange, not the metatarsal bone which bears all the weight of the body. It is also contoured to fit snugly to the bone to prevent damage to surrounding soft tissue. Joint implants are designed to last up to 30 years.