A MTP joint replacement operation is performed to relieve pain and disability due to MTP joint damage, probably as a result of age-related changes known as osteoarthritis. Some individuals undergo an MTP joint replacement due to a rheumatological condition which has deteriorated the joint over time. There are several different types of artificial joint implants (prostheses) and surgeons choose the most suitable version for their patient based on age, activity level and joint anatomy.
Phase one - The first phase of your recovery will be focused on managing your swelling and pain and 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 two - Under normal circumstances, the first phase of your active recovery will commence at 6 weeks post-surgery when you will be asked to wean off your specialist shoe.
At this stage, your physiotherapist will supervise you taking full weight through your operated foot.
Your physiotherapist will also advise you of some ongoing stretches to your calf muscles and mobility work to your replaced MTP joint to restore normal flexibility.
Provided that a normal walking pattern is achieved, walking distances can be gradually increased as far as your pain allows.
Phase three - The third phase of your recovery will begin when you have recovered enough strength and balance in your operated leg to commence more vigorous, weight bearing exercises.
The exercises our physiotherapists prescribe during this phase will typically take in to consideration your normal activity levels, sports and hobbies and will aim to increase functional strength.
Examples of exercises that may be prescribed are step ups to increase your strength and balance when climbing stairs or shallow squats to enhance your ability to stand from a seated position.
The AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, Hydro Physio aquajogger and 3D Gait Analysis may help rehabilitation following a 1st MTP joint replacement