Arthritis of the joint at the base of the great toe (known as hallux rigidus) is a common and painful condition which can affect people of all ages. It occurs when there is damage to the smooth cartilage layer which forms the lining of all joints.
Surgical fusion is a common treatment which is very effective at relieving pain from this joint. The drawback is that fusion leads to permanent restriction of movement of the big toe, additionally the recovery is slow as the bones have to grow together. A new treatment for this condition has been launched for the first time in Scotland.
Mr Robert Clayton, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, performed Scotland’s first Cartiva® implant procedure at the beginning of this year. The Cartiva® is a new implant designed to replace the damaged cartilage surface, while preserving motion in the joint. As the bone does not have to heal the recovery is much faster than with traditional fusion surgery. A large recent clinical trial has shown the procedure to be as effective as fusion for pain relief whilst preserving movement of the joint. The procedure is covered by many of the major health insurance companies and patients can self fund the procedure.