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Great Toe Hemi-arthroplasty implant for First Joint

Hi, In June 2007 I had surgery on my right great toe.  An implant was put into my right great toe due to arthirtis.  It was called a First Metarsophalangeal Joint Hemiaroplasty with the Arthrosurface HemiCap Implant.  I was told that in a few months I would be dancing at my daughter's wedding.  That was never to be b/c of the severe pain in the big toe.   It is now March 2008 and I still have bad pain in that toe.  I cannot walk for exercise.  It doesn't matter if I have sneakers or low heeled shoes on.  The doctor said I would be able to wear my heels again - no way.

The toe gets stiff & hurts in a pair of shoes or sneaks but when I take the shoe off - it is stiff & stuck and to move it - it really is extremely painful.

Does anyone know if this is normal to still feel this way?  I was better off without the implant, in my opinion.  Any advise is greatly needed.
66 Responses
Avatar universal
I've had exactly the same experience.  I had an implant 7 1/2 weeks ago and am in more pain than ever.  I go to PT 2-3 times a week, take Naproxen, pain killers, ICE--you name it, it hurts!  I feel the same way--I should have lived with the arthritis.  I love to play golf and I can hardly walk.  I wake up at night in extreme pain.  It's also complicated by pain in my Achilles so the foot won't flex correctly.  I truly sympathize with your frustration.  Did you get any other comments?

Avatar universal
Okay now you're scarring me I just had hemi toe implant last week, I went back to work after 3 days.  It's actually more painful now, I  think because of the healing,  What is your doctor telling you? it sounds so wrong that you can't wear a dress shoe yet - Do you still have swelling? I actually drove after 3 days, of course I can't imagine at this point even putting a sneaker on that that foot but I am only a week post surgery.
647128 tn?1226557608
Hi Tonice,
I wish I had an encouraging word for you about the Hemi Implant.
I had one place in my Left Great Toe 3 years ago, and have been in more constant and severe pain since the anesthetic wore off than I ever was before.
I had my Right ankle completely replaced 7 years ago and have very little discomfort by comparison, and that was a far mor invasive proceedure.

If anyone knows of a solution, please pass it on.
Avatar universal
Had the full-blown Left Great Toe implant as well! I had Dr. Anderson; he did a great job considering how bad my joint was once he got inside. The implant was 5/23/08, so far all is as Dr. Anderson had mentioned but I still have stiffness and pain as well. I’m thinking that it’s just part of the long-term scope of the procedure. Unfortunately I had to come back to work to soon, (believe me my wife let me know about that), but in all since May the scar has healed-some improvement in toe movement but still fairly stiff-much shooting pains & aches both day and night. The only time I’m like new is in the morning for about an hour. Still on the pain meds due to the high frequency of shooting pains and somewhat constant aches. I predict all should be good in another 6-8 months. Progress is kind-of slow but it is the foot, on it all the time, no doubt if in Jacksonville I recommend Dr. Anderson. Don’t get discouraged all will heal just give it time – some heal different than others.
Avatar universal
This is Tonice writing to up-date you on my toe.  Another summer has gone by and I have been unable to do any walking for in my sneakers for exercise.  When I try to walk, I need to stop b/c of the pain and then when I take the sneaker off - I can't move the toe it is so very painful.  I wore a pair of heels (2") and I had to take them off.  I could not move my toe as it hurt and was swollen.  ..  I wonder if this is ever was FDA approved for the toe.  .. I truly don't know what to do.  I went back to the doctor and he took an X-ray of the toe, never called me and when I called him he said, "oh, you now have arthirtis in the upper joint of the toe causing pain.  That is wrong as I read the radiogist's report - saying it was no different from the first X-ray before the surgery.  Does anyone feel any better?  I don't know what to do, but if we all feel worse than before - something should be done for us!!  
692560 tn?1227541313
Ihad hemi implant on great toe June 5, 08 and my toe is totally stiff and numb. The pain is really mostly gone, but the toe does not move. If I try to move it, it is very painful. I made appt. with Dr. for 12/2. I don't know what he can do. Physical therapy did nothing.It seems like I had toe permanetly welded together. I don't believe Dr., he says it's unusual for this to occur. I was out of work for 15 weeks, so I had plenty of rest
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