Protecting Your Feet

Toe Implants: A Unique Approach To Arthritis

Your feet play a critical role in the comfort of your daily life. Problems with the foot can result in pain and discomfort that might make it difficult to engage in the physical activities you enjoy.

One of the problems that people face when caring for their feet is the development of arthritis in the toes. Arthritis typically affects the big toe, and this condition can make it painful to bend the big toe or bear weight on the toe. Thanks to the innovation of modern medicine, toe implants can be used to help relieve arthritis pain.

Causes of Arthritis

Individuals who are involved in strenuous physical activity on a regular basis are prone to arthritis. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage within a certain joint wears down. The lack of cartilage exposes the bones within the joint to one another and causes them to rub together. This produces pain and swelling near the affected joint and can limit the joint's range of motion.

Since athletes and those who exercise vigorously on a regular basis are putting a lot of pressure on the toes, the joint in the big toe can be susceptible to developing arthritis.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Many athletes assume that arthritis is something that doesn't affect young people. Although age can be a factor in the amount of wear on the cartilage, impact injuries and strenuous use can also accelerate the deterioration of cartilage within the body's joints. You must be mindful of the symptoms of arthritis in your big toe so that you can seek professional treatment as quickly as possible.

During the initial stages of arthritis development, you will probably notice a change in the physical appearance of your toe. The joint will swell, and the affected area will look red. As the arthritis continues to worsen, you will probably experience pain, a burning sensation, or the development of bone spurs.

Toe Implants for Arthritis

Treatment options for arthritis of the big toe have been limited to the fusion of the joint in the past. This surgical fusion could be detrimental to an athlete's performance because it limited to toe's ability to bend and flex. Balance and stability will be compromised when the big toe doesn't function properly.

Toe implants are a revolutionary new treatment option for athletes who want to maintain their toe function. The small plastic implant can be inserted into the joint to provide a smooth joint surface. The joint is not fused but rather enhanced with the implant. 

For more information, contact your local podiatric sports medicine clinic.