Cartiva® Big Toe Arthritis Treatment Encino
(painful big toe arthritis / big toe joint stiffness)
Hallux rigidus is the medical term for “stiff big toe joint” and “arthritis of the big toe joint”. This condition often presents with a “bone bump” at the base of the big toe as well as limited motion at this joint; which causes stiffness, pain and secondary problems due to changes in walking pattern.
Traditionally, arthritis of the big toe joint is treated first with conservative therapies, including: over the counter pain-relievers, prescription anti-inflammatories, ice packs, choosing the right footwear (avoid high heels, tight shoes, and pointy toe shoes) and cortisone injections into the joint. For joint pain that is severe or non-responsive to conservative treatments, surgical options have traditionally been:
- Removal of bone spurs (cheilectomy)
- Total Joint replacements (removing the joint &replacing with total artificial joint)
- Joint fusion. This is the most definitive solution; however, fusion results in zero motion at the joint, which can be a problem for patients who want to wear different heel heights of shoes. Fusion also transfers pressure to other areas of the foot.
- CARTIVA: The FDA has approved a new treatment, called Cartiva, for patients who suffer from arthritis of the big toe. This is a hydrogel implant, made up of a material called polyvinyl alcohol (similar to the material used in contact lenses) to act as a replacement for the joint cartilage. The material mimics the density of a natural bone cartilage. Cartiva does not damage healthy bone, it is durable, and bio-stable, meaning that it will not degrade in the body. Furthermore, if necessary, the implant can be easily replaced in the future. Cartiva has a 96 percent success rate in 5 years’ worth of data.
Dr. Buratti has extensive experience in treating hallux rigidus / painful arthritis of the big toe joint, both conservatively and surgically. Cartiva is a new, exciting option for patients who need more than a joint “clean up” (spur removal) but do not want a joint fusion or total joint replacement.
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