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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Arthrodesis of the great toe joint

08/01/2007

Question:

My doc is suggesting an arthrodesis of the great joint in the left toe. Had a chelectomy (sp?) on the rt toe 10 years ago with good results. He says my left toe degeneration is too advanced and must do a fusion. How limited will my motion be afterward? Will I be able to continue yoga and cross country skiing? thank you.

Answer:

Generally speaking an arthrodesis or fusion is done when it becomes the best choice. In this case your joint degeneration is advanced and the surgeon’s judgment is that this is your best bet for the best functional outcome for you. This procedure stabilizes the joint but restricts the range of motion and may limit the degree to which you can do some activities. There is no way to predict how much limitation you will have since there are many variables that come into play and you should communicate with your surgeon that you would like to continue these activities after the procedure. If you have doubts you should seek a second opinion.

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Response by:

Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University