Osteoarthritis is a premature wear of the joint. The body reacts to the increasing wear with pain and gradual 'shut out of the joint functionality "- joint progressively stiffens. The arthritis usually affects the metatarsophalangeal joint of the foot that connects the thumb to the instep. This problem is called hallux rigidus.

Initially, conservative methods can help (rest, injections of cortisone or hyaluronic acid, medications that relieve pain); however, surgical intervention is often required for permanent solution of the problem.

The following surgical procedures are possible:

  1. “Joint clean-up”: Tissue that interferes and restricts movement and causes pain is removed from the joint. This procedure leads to success only in early stages.
  2. Arthroplasty: Part of the joint is removed and the body produces scar tissue in the created space.  This reduces friction of bones.
  3. Artificial joint: There are various kinds of joint implants on the market - as in the case of artificial knee, smaller joints, like the joints of the foot, can be replaced.
  4. Arthrodesis: Surgically induced joint fusion leading to immobility of the joint.

Published: 2011-08-16

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