First Metatarsal-phalangeal Joint (MTP) Arthrodesis
WHAT IS FIRST METATARSAL-PHALANGEAL JOINT (MTP) ARTHRODESIS?
First metatarsal-phalangeal joint (MTP) arthrodesis is a fusion of the bone in your foot to your big toe. This is done when arthritis or deformity has degenerated the joint and is impacting the quality of your life or restricting the use of your foot. Considered a last measure in dealing with arthritis, arthrodesis will fuse the damaged joint removing the ability for the two bones to change angles during movement. Arthrodesis removes the mobility of a joint, but offers pain relief in exchange. Technology for total joint replacement currently does not include smaller joints such as the first metatarsal-phalangeal joint. If you have arthritis your best option is to slow the progression of the disease with lifestyle modification and conservative orthopedic care before the joint becomes irreparable to the point of needing a small joint fusion.
RECOVERY FROM A FIRST METATARSAL-PHALANGEOAL JOINT (MTP) ARTHRODESIS
Recovery from a MTP joint fusion requires non-weight baring movement for about 6 weeks. Crutches are often utilized to keep weight off of the foot. Some numbness can occur and while it often resolves over time it can remain numb. Smoking is not recommended anytime bone is healing as it reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to the healing cells.