What is 1st MTP Fusion?

1st MTP (metatarsophalangeal joint) fusion is stiffening of the joint between the foot and the big toe. Any remaining cartilage is removed from the joint surface and the bones are held with a plate and screws until they knit together. Fusion eliminates pain from the big toe at the expense of any remaining movement.

When is it Indicated?

1st MTP fusion is used to treat advanced hallux rigidus (big toe arthritis) or severe hallux valgus (bunion) which has not responded to non-surgical treatment.

What Does it Involve?

You may need to temporarily stop certain blood thinning or diabetic medications prior to surgery. You will be informed of this but if you are unsure of your requirements please ask.

The procedure is done under general or regional anaesthetic. You will stay in hospital overnight and go home the next day walking in a velcro shoe. You should keep your foot elevated as much as possible until the wound has healed.

How Long is Recovery?

You will see Dr Freihaut 2 weeks following surgery for suture removal. Once your wound has healed you may mobilise more freely but will need to use the velcro shoe whenever walking for 6 weeks in total. You will not be able to drive for 6 weeks if your right foot was operated on. You will be reviewed at the 6 week mark with an X-ray and start walking in normal shoes. You should not do anything too strenuous for another 6 weeks. Swelling will be present for 6-12 months.

Is Physiotherapy Required?

Generally not.

What are the Risks?

Risks include but are not limited to infection, blood clots, injury to nerves and blood vessels, wound breakdown, fusion not uniting or uniting in an uncomfortable position, pain in other areas of the foot.