Big toe cheilectomy

What is a big toe cheilectomy?

Big toe cheilectomy is an operation to remove the bony lumps that can be found on the top of the big toe joint that are caused by arthritis. The operation can help relieve the pain caused by your shoe pressing on the bony lump, and also improve the range of movement of the toe.

What does this involve?

The operation is usually performed under general anaesthetic as a day-case procedure. A cut is made on the side of your big toe. The surgeon will then remove the bony prominences around the toe.

When will I recover?

After the operation, you will have a bandage around the foot. For the first few weeks following surgery you will need to elevate your foot as much as possible to reduce swelling. This will both make the foot more comfortable and help the wounds to heal.

You will be advised to walk on your heel for the first few weeks after which you should be able to start wearing soft shoes and putting pressure through the whole foot. The stitches will need removing two weeks following surgery. The swelling can take several months to completely settle.