Question:I've heard of hip and knee replacements; is it possible to replace other painful joints, like a toe?
Answer:Yes, there are toe joint replacements for the big toe, particularly if the pain is caused by severe osteoarthritis. Right now, however, the results of the replacement don't seem to be comparable to the results of a surgery called arthrodesis, a fusion of the bones in the toe.
In a recent study, researchers found that patients who had the joint fusion experienced fewer complications and less pain than did those who had the replacement.Steven M. Raikin, MD et al. Comparison of Arthrodesis and Metallic Hemiarthroplasty of the Hallux Metatarsophalangeal Joint. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. September 2007. Vol. 89-A. No. 9. Pp. 1978-1985.
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