Cartiva® Implant Maintain Mobility after Big Toe Joint Arthritis Treatment

Big toe joint arthritis, or hallux rigidus, affects the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP joint) where the foot and big toe join. Because of the way our feet move, the MTP joint is especially prone to arthritis, which can severely affect your comfort, mobility, and activity. At Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists, board-certified foot and ankle specialist Dr. Rachel Balloch offers the Cartiva® implant and other treatments for big toe joint arthritis. During your consultation at our orthopedic practice serving Hartford County, CT, Dr. Balloch will thoroughly review your condition to determine whether the Cartiva implant is right for you. For the right candidate, the Cartiva implant can provide long-lasting pain relief and dramatically improved function with an expedited recovery time. 

Cartiva® Synthetic Cartilage Implant.
The Cartiva® Synthetic Cartilage Implant is a biocompatible implant that closely replicates your natural cartilage.

Symptoms of Big Toe Joint Arthritis 

Patients with big toe arthritis typically experience: 

  • Pain at the base of the toe 
  • Swelling at the base of the toe
  • Bone spurs next to the joint 
  • Calluses around the arthritis area

Signs and symptoms usually worsen during physical activities, making it difficult for patients with hallux rigidus to stay physically active.  

Diagnosis and Candidacy

Dr. Balloch is proud to offer MTP joint arthritis treatment using the Cartiva Synthetic Cartilage Implant. This biocompatible implant closely replicates your natural cartilage and acts as a spacer between the foot and big toe, preventing painful grinding between the bones caused by arthritis. 

Because we thoroughly screen every patient to determine if they are a good candidate for the implant, we have seen high success rates. To determine whether surgery is right for you during your in-office consultation, Dr. Balloch will typically test your joint mobility and conduct x-ray imaging. If the arthritis affecting the area is minimal, conservative options may be sufficient for treatment. If arthritis is extensive, she will assess your candidacy for the Cartiva implant. 

If you are not a good candidate for the Cartiva implant, Dr. Balloch may recommend: 

  • Cortisone injections 
  • Oral and topical anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy 
  • Different MTP joint implant 
  • Fusion of the MTP joint, which typically results in a reduced range of motion 

Your care is personalized to your unique situation so we can choose an option that best fits your needs.

Preparation, Surgery, and Recovery

Once candidacy has been established, you will then undergo a pre-operative evaluation with your primary care provider to ensure you are healthy enough to undergo surgery. During the Cartiva implant procedure, Dr. Balloch will create a two-inch incision between the big toe and the foot. She will access the affected site, clean the arthritis area, create a hole in the foot bone, and place the spacer between the big toe and foot bone. She will then close the incisions. 

By using cutting-edge technology, Dr. Balloch is able to consistently ensure high satisfaction, substantial pain reduction, and an improved quality of life.

The entire surgery can be completed in just 30 minutes, allowing you to spend less time under anesthesia. When surgery is complete, you will need to be driven home by a friend or loved one. One of the greatest benefits of the Cartiva implant is that you can stand and walk immediately after surgery. Patients also notice an immediate reduction in pain. It is important to note that patients who receive a Cartiva implant typically return to daily activities much faster than patients who undergo joint fusion.

Life after the Cartiva Implant

Patients who receive a Cartiva implant from Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists generally report high satisfaction rates and benefits such as: 

  • Substantially reduced pain in the toe
  • Reduced stiffness
  • Significantly increased joint function
  • Increased mobility of the toe and overall body
  • Improved comfort when wearing normal shoe gear

The Cartiva implant also allows patients to preserve motion in their big toe and maintain an active lifestyle. In most cases, the Cartiva implant will last a lifetime after its placement.

Learn More about the Cartiva Implant 

Don't let big toe joint arthritis prevent you from living life to the fullest. Dr. Balloch is a board-certified foot and ankle specialist who cares for dozens of Cartiva implant cases each year. By using cutting-edge technology in her procedures, Dr. Balloch is able to consistently ensure high satisfaction, substantial pain reduction, and an improved quality of life. To find out if you are a good candidate for the Cartiva implant, schedule a consultation at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling (860) 352-1872 or requesting an appointment online.

Dr. Balloch

Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists

At Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists, you can expect to receive the finest care from Dr. Rachel Balloch:

  • Board-certified in foot, reconstructive rearfoot, and ankle surgery
  • Over 10 years of experience
  • A Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
  • Extensively trained in diverse foot and ankle conditions

To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us at (860) 674-0284.

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Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists

100 Simsbury Rd
Suite 209
Avon, CT 06001

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