What Is A Big Toe Cheilectomy?

June 1st, 2018 by LOC Team

A big toe cheilectomy is a surgery that is carried out to remove excessive bone in your big toe. This excess bone forms on top of the first joint of your toe and is found in people that have big toe arthritis.

What does a cheilectomy involve?

Basically, this procedure involves tidying up the big toe joint and removing any excess bone. This is done to increase the range of motion and movement of the toe and reduce any pain you may be in. It is usually a very successful surgery. Typically, the surgery is carried out as a day case procedure. You’ll like have general anaesthetic and a numbing injection around the ankle so that the foot stays pain-free after surgery. Big toe cheilectomy can be done using open surgery or arthroscopic techniques.

We will save you all the gory details of big toe cheilectomy, if you have any questions about what happens during big toe cheilectomy, please ask your surgeon. For this article, we want to focus on recovering from big toe cheilectomy mainly.

Recovering from a big toe cheilectomy

Immediately after surgery

To start with, your foot will be bandaged and pain-free, thanks to the injection earlier. While you are still in hospital, you will be referred to a physiotherapist who will give you a rehabilitation plan. This can be done using the padded shoe that the hospital supplies. If everything is okay, you’ll be sent home with painkillers and instructions for follow-up appointments.

During the first few weeks

It’s important to keep your foot elevated during the first few weeks. This reduces swelling and pain. Try to only move around when you need to. We know this is difficult, but moving around with a poorly foot isn’t easy either and you may damage your foot if you do try to move around a lot.

Some blood may ooze from the wound created by the surgery, this is normal, but if you are worried, contact the hospital. After about a week, start moving your toe up and down for five minutes, four times a day. This is to get the toe moving again after surgery and to help it regain full motion.

Follow-up appointments

Everyone is a little different when it comes to healing and post-operative programmes. So, although this may vary for some of you, follow-up appointments may be expected after about two weeks, six-eight weeks and then twelve weeks.

When can I walk?

Once again, as everyone reacts to foot surgery a little differently, this isn’t easy to say. But your surgeon will advise you about which shoes to wear and give you a rough time on when you’ll recover. Below is a very rough guide to what you may expect after a big toe cheilectomy:

  • 0-2 weeks – you’ll be able to put all your weight on your foot while it’s in the hospital shoe provided
  • 2-6 weeks – you’ll be able to put all your weight on your foot in your own wide shoe
  • After 6 weeks – you’ll be able to put all your weight on your foot in your own, normal, shoes.

We hope this look at big toe cheilectomies and the recovery time has been helpful. To find out more about big toe arthritis and other conditions that affect your toes, please explore our website further.