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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday's Article of the Week: Gait Changes Post Big Toe Joint Fusion

So many of my patients with Hallux Rigidus do not like the thought of big toe joint fusion, and I share that thought. I have only two patients in my practice and they are doing well post surgery. I present this article abstract to help with pro/con list we all create when trying to choose between different treatments. I would still recommend joint fusion in only small instances, but when I do recommend the procedure articles like this help me feel better that the patient will do well afterwards.

Below are the foot x ray images of my patient who is doing very well with her big toe joint fusion. The hardware is scary, but she is stable, pain free, and comfortable walking. She is 2 years post fusion by our podiatrist Dr Remy Ardizzone. Dr Ardizzone is very skilled at cheilectomies (joint clean outs) and implants, but felt fusion due to the severe joint arthritis was the best option. My patient is happy with the results.


  1. Hi Dr. Blake, I had this procedure 9 weeks ago on my left toe, with 2 parallel titanium scews through the joint. I'm continuing to wear the cam boot per my dr. for 3 more weeks. My question is, while I don't have constant pain, it still hurts sometimes, with a bit of a sharp 'twinge' that comes and goes. Nothing that I need pain medicine for. Is this part of the normal healing process and will this go away completely? I know 10% of these procedures don't fuse and that pain that comes and goes has me a bit paranoid. Thanks.

    1. Yes, there are many reasons for this, most likely the raw nerves in the cut bone that will gradually feel better and better. Dr Rich Blake


Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.