Bone spurs often develop around the big toe joint (first MTP joint) over time as a result of age-related changes (osteoarthritis). These spurs can cause significant stiffness and pain, both of which can limit function. A first MTP joint chilectomy – removal of bone spurs at the big toe joint – is designed to free the range of motion and reduce pain at this joint.

Phase oneThe first phase of your recovery will be focused on managing your swelling and pain and on early mobilization of your knee and ankle to prevent excessive stiffness in the operated leg as a whole. You will be encouraged to fully weight bear through the heel of your operated foot in a specialist shoe immediately after your surgery. Initially after surgery, it is advisable to elevate your lower leg and perform ankle pumping movements regularly to help reduce swelling.

Phase twoUnder normal circumstances, your active recovery will commence at two weeks post-surgery, when you will be asked to discard your specialist shoe. At this stage, your physiotherapist will advise you how to safely progress the amount of weight you are taking through your operated foot and will also suggest some mobility exercises to restore normal range of motion at the first MTP joint as quickly as possible post-surgery. Provided a normal walking pattern is achieved, walking distances can be gradually increased as far as your pain allows.

Phase threeThe third phase will begin once your walking pattern has normalized and you have enough strength and flexibility in your operated foot to start more complex movements and impact work. The initial part of this phase may involve light impact work such as jogging on the treadmill and load-bearing exercises such as squats, step-ups and heel raises. Your physiotherapist will guide you appropriately, but under normal circumstances once the strength of your operated leg is equal to your non-operated leg, activity or sports specific rehabilitation exercises can be started. This may include progression to sprinting, jumping and rotational movements depending on the sport desired.

The AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, Hydro Physio aquajogger and 3D Gait Analysis, plus one to one physio treatment may help rehabilitation for a 1st MTP joint chilectomy

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