Big Toe Joint, Hammer Toe & Bunionette Problems:
1st MTPJ Fusion Surgery Recovery Time[Causes & Best Home Treatment]
1st MTPJ fusion surgery recovery time can vary, but you may even be walking the same day! Incision site healing can be 2-3 weeks, pain for 6-8wks!
- Do you have a stiff big toe? This might mean that there is arthritis developing within your big toe joint.
- If you have a slight decrease in motion, this is called hallux limitus.
- If the big toe joint does not bend at all, this is called hallux rigidus.
- This does mean that there is destruction of your cartilage within the joint.
- As the joint keeps getting more and more damaged, it starts to develop a very large spur on the big toe joint.
- It is possible to also have a bunion in the big toe joint arthritis.
- It is possible to have sesamoiditis and big toe joint arthritis.
- It is possible to have a turf toe and big toe joint arthritis, although little bit less likely.
So, click on the gallery to see a description & full size photos!
Click on pictures for full size & descriptions:
1st MTPJ Fusion Surgery Recovery Time Overview:
- 1st MTPJ fusion surgery recovery time can vary, but you may even be walking the same day!
- Incision site healing can be 2-3 weeks, pain for 6-8wks!We believe in performing a robust fixation where you only need the surgery performed once.
- This allows for early weight bearing time and high levels of fusion.
1st MTPJ fusion surgery details:
The entire surgery is performed in about two hours and you may go home on the same day. This is performed on an outpatient basis.
Is this surgery covered by insurance?
In most cases this is done for severe pain and is not considered a cosmetic or “elective” procedure. It is generally essential.
1st MTPJ fusion Technique:
- An incision is made on top of the big toe.
- Remaining cartilage is cleared away to allow the two bones to heal together.
- Your podiatric surgeon may use a combination of tools to shape each bone for a perfect fit.
- Once prepared, the two bones are positioned and a metal plate is placed to hold both bones together.
- Two screws can be placed across the joint without using a plate.
- After the hardware is placed, the incision is closed with sutures and the foot is placed in a dressing or splint.
1st MTPJ fusion surgery recovery time:
- You will likely be examined at 1 week, two weeks, and sutures removed at three weeks.
- We will then see you at 2 months and 3 months following the surgery.
- X-rays may be taken at each visit to evaluate the bone healing and the position of the big toe.
- Weight bearing status generally begin in an immbolizing boot within a few days of surgery.
- After a first MTP fusion, you should not wear shoes that put extra stress on the joint for atleast 2-3 weeks.
1st MTPJ fusion surgery complications that can lengthen healing time:
- Common complications specific to MTP fusion include poor or delayed bone healing, infection, and stiffness in neighboring joints.
- The metal plate used during surgery can sometimes cause irritation. In this case it can be removed after the bone has healed.
- Finally, scarring within the joint can limit neighboring tendons.
- There are complications that relate to surgery in general.
- These include the risks associated with anesthesia, infection, damage to nerves and blood vessels, and bleeding or blood clots.
If I have a first MTP fusion, will I still be able to run?
- The only reason you would have this procedure performed is if you were have pain or a problem already, the expected resulted is better function than when you can in for surgery.
- Most people with a first MTP fusion do not have a limp after it has fully healed.
MTPJ Fusion Surgeons:
- Generally this is a procedure performed by podiatrists and orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons.
MTPJ Fusion links:
MTPJ Fusion Surgery Locations:
- We are able to accommodate you for a quick turnaround time and result at one of our many Michigan locations.
- Come see use and realize how quickly you can expect 1st MTPJ fusion surgery recovery time to take.
Big Toe Joint Home Treatment Infographic:
Big Toe Joint Injury or Surgery Treatment:
- If you think you might have a severe turf toe, a severe tear or sprain, a broken big toe joint or broken big toe, or you have just had surgery: this guide may be able to help you!
- Just make sure to check with your podiatrist because a severe injury will require imaging, biomechanical evaluation, and a good discussion to prevent anything from going more wrong.
- For surgery, purposes make sure to discuss with your podiatrist To see what is recommended, as every surgery is unique, and there are pros and cons to all treatment methods.
Big Toe Joint Fracture, Sprain, or Surgery Products:
- If you have a traumatic injury such as a broken bone or ligament tear, these products may be able to help you.
- The best way to do this is, of course, to see your podiatrist and get evaluated with an x-ray, ultrasound, and potentially even an MRI or CT scan.
- If you cannot do so, it may benefit you to be in a cast, fractured boot, or even keep the weight off of it with a rolling knee scooter or other protective devices.
- We as podiatrists frequently take patients off work for a very long period of time when they suffer a traumatic injury. Unfortunately, there is no other way around us in labor jobs.
- If you have a sit-down job, there are ways to get people back to work quicker, but this can be impossible otherwise.
- Just remember these injuries can take a very long time, specifically 2 to 3 months or more, to come back from if you’re going to be on your feet all day. There is a long recovery time and healing time in most cases.
Big Toe Joint Injury & Surgery Immobilization:
- There are pros and cons to using a boot to treat your big toe joint injury. If you are immobilized too long, the cons are that you will gradually become stiff and overworked to your other leg.
- The Pros are that your injured heel will hopefully have a chance to heal gradually!
- Our favorite fracture boots and their supplies:
Big Toe Arthritis and Hallux Rigidus:
- One of the best treatment options for a stiff big toe is a stiff orthotic.
- The big toe can become arthritic, and what causes the pain is the bone grinding on a joint that cannot move.
- Getting a rigid carbon insole can make a huge difference in preventing the bend of the big toe joint.
- Out of the big toe joint products in the next table, the carbon insole is worth looking at for relieving the big toe joint bed.
- A good over-the-counter orthotic can provide a similar result, and we would otherwise prefer those.
Offloading and Scooter Treatment:
- If you cannot use your foot, it needs to be immobilized: we have found success with offloading the scooters in these products.
- Crutches can be difficult long term, whereas scooters can really help you get around and to work if you have a sit-down job in this been okay-ed with your podiatrist.
- These are our favorite knee scooters and walking devices:
Best Big Toe Joint Products:
- There are usually two phases to treating big toe joint pain
- The two phases of treatment include controlling the acute inflammation with protection and correcting the biomechanics, which led to the problem in the first place.
- If the tendons, joints, and ligaments are inflamed, they are almost frozen in place and cannot function properly.
- Inflammation can mean damage as well, in this most likely needs to be protected as the big toe joint heavily relies upon the weight-bearing joint. So consider discussing with your podiatrist the need for and offloading surgical shoes or boots.
- Once the inflammation is decreased, we need to correct the biomechanical causes to ensure that they can never become overworked and inflamed again!
- The key with an injury or surgery is to keep it protected initially, and when the bone and tendon heels, to get moving before stiffness can set in.
Best Bunion Specific Products:
- There are no perfect bunion treatment products.
- Most people end up disappointed after spending a lot of money on bunion pads, bunion gel pads, expensive bunion correctors, and bunion splints!
- The truth is a bunion is a biomechanical injury. The foot is flattening out, and the ankle is flattening out, causing the pain.
- Having a gel pad on the big toe has very little chance of fixing the deformity, although it can stop the rubbing and relieve a lot of the pain.
- This is why people sometimes wear splints and correctors. It holds the toe straighter so that the tissue and were’s and have left pain.
Big Toe Joint Inflammation Control:
Massage & Ice Products:
- Ice is an excellent option that can be safe for almost everyone.
- There is some debate about whether icing is worth doing, but this can help limit the need for medications and keep your options open for chronic pain.
- This works great for your arch, less for the ball of the foot.
- The more muscle and ligament tissue there is, the better ice will work there.
Menthol Based Gels:
- Biofreeze is one of our favorites.
- This can work well as a cream or gel option for your big toe joint pain.
- These gels have been studied to work 2x as long as ice.
- This works great for the ball of the foot.
- This can be very effective for the bottom of the heel and Achilles tendon sore regions.
- These can work great for loosening your muscles.
- This is not to be used directly onto your foot but to help take pressure off the foot’s front.
- This allows less tightness and pressure on the ball of your foot.
- This is very effective for the arch, the gastrocnemius, calf muscle, and the hamstring and thigh muscles.
- This also works very well for the gluteus muscles if you are having butt cheek or hip pain.
Remove the Big Toe Joint Pressure:
- The key is to prevent future pain and to keep pressure off of the big toe joint.
- This means keeping you active while keeping stress off of your big toe joint. This will prevent future bunions, sesamoiditis, turf toe, and even big toe joint arthritis!
- If you can get rid of the pain and swelling, this will let you start walking normally.
- If you can walk normally, the vast majority of your pain should gradually start to go away.
- The best way to ensure that your big toe joint, hammertoes, and foot and ankle ligaments are not overworked is to support them.
- The best way to support them is to use great orthotics and great shoes.
- Some people may also need to rely on supportive ankle braces and other supportive modalities.
Best Big Toe Joint & Flat Foot Shoes:
- Getting a great supportive pair of shoes will make sure that there is no further pressure onto the ball of your foot and the big toe joint region.
- This is especially important if you have plantar fasciitis, heel spur pain, or Achilles tendonitis.
- Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for the best pain relief!
- We have found shoes and orthotics to be one of the most effective ways to reduce bunion and hammertoe pain.
- The following link will show you what our favorites are.
Best Big Toe Joint & Flat Foot Orthotics:
- These are our recommended orthotics for offloading the big toe joint.
- Custom orthotics can work very well, but they should not be the first line of treatment. Custom orthotics can cost a lot of money, over the counter orthotics can be a great introduction to foot control and prevent pronation.
- There are different types of orthotics for different types of shoes.
- Women’s shoes usually need a less bulky orthotic but allow for less correction of your big toe joint and ball of the foot pain.
- A full-length orthotic requires a running shoe, boot, or comfortable walking/dress shoe.
- We recommend doing everything you can to get a good supportive shoe that can fit a full-length orthotic. This will get you the best results for your bunion, hammertoes, and bunionette.
- This is the best way to maximize your orthotics for great results.
Best Full-Length Orthotics:
- These will only work in wider shoes or a good supportive running shoe.
- This will not work in sandals, flats, or most women’s dress shoes.
Best Dress Shoe Orthotics:
- These are a great choice for dress orthotics.
Best 3/4 Length Orthotics:
- These are great options for women’s dress shoes and thinner shoes.
- These are not the most supportive pair of orthotics.
Get A Great Dynamic Stretch:
- The goal of getting a great stretch is to improve your ankle flexibility and prevent ball of the foot pain and big toe joint pressure.
- It is possible to stretch on your own, but these products can also really help!
- This will take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- We personally prefer this method of stretching.
Get A Great Static Stretch:
- These devices are great for stretching while you are resting.
- This will also help take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- This works great for plantar fasciitis but can also make your ankle more flexible in removing pressure from the ball of your foot!
- It can be used while watching TV or at night time.
Big Toe Joint, Hammer Toe & Bunionette Problems: