Fusion of the big toe is an operation to stiffen the joint at the base of the great toe (first metatarsophalangeal joint), removing bony bumps and correcting any deformity
Usually, a fusion of the big to is performed due to arthritis of the joint. This may be isolated arthritis of the big toe ("hallux rigidus") or part of generalised arthritis of the foot such as rheumatoid arthritis
The toe may also be fused to correct a severe deformity of the toe, such as a bunion ("hallux valgus").
A fusion may also be used as a salvage option after failure of another operation on the big toe, especially if there is weakness, pain or deformity.
An incision is made along the side of the toe, and the joint is opened. The arthritic joint surfaces are removed and shaped to correct any deformity. Once in the desired position, it is held with either screws or a small plate. The wound is sutured closed, and a soft, bulky dressing is applied.
For more information on what to expect after surgery, please click the link for a detailed patient guide on this surgery.DOWNLOAD PATIENT GUIDE