Hallux rigidus, otherwise called the stiff big toe, or turf toe, is one of the most common foot deformities. This is one of the types of degenerative arthritis, and it’s often treated surgically. But how long after hallux rigidus surgery can you put full weight on your foot? We’ve explained everything about the recovery process after correction surgery in our text below.
How Is Hallux Rigidus Treated?
This condition can be treated with conservative methods, so it doesn’t always require surgery. Proper shoes, shoe pads, anti-inflammatory medication, or corticosteroid injections have all proved efficient in battling the symptoms of hallux rigidus. When these methods don’t work, doctors recommend surgery to fix the joint and relieve the pain. The surgical approach can include one of the following procedures:
- Cheilectomy – This method involves shaving off a part of the bone in order to improve the motility in the big toe joint.
- Arthrodesis – Otherwise called joint fusion, this procedure means that your surgeon will remove the damaged big toe joint and fuse the two bones together.
- Interpositional arthroplasty – This procedure is often performed on younger patients. The surgeon removes a part of the bone and inserts a “spacer” from the donor.
- Osteotomy – During osteotomy, the surgeon cuts the bone in order to reposition it or shorten the big toe.
Are There Complications?
This surgery rarely comes with any complications afterward. However, they are possible and include infection of the incision site, joint stiffness, recurrence of the pain and deformity, progression of arthritis, and sometimes prolonged swelling of the big toe joint.
What Should You Expect After the Hallux Rigidus Surgery?
After your surgery, there will be a recovery period that will last for a few weeks or months, depending on the type of surgery that you had. You will have to wear a surgical shoe for two weeks or a cast for three to six weeks. There will be some pain (which you can easily manage with pain medication) and swelling that can last for a few months.
How Can You Speed up the Recovery Process?
The recovery usually lasts from six weeks to three months – it depends on what kind of procedure you had. Still, you can do a few things to make it easier on yourself. First, be sure to follow all of the instructions from your doctor – they were given for a reason. Rest and take it easy – avoid alcohol and smoking. Try to stick to healthy food and make sure you are always well-hydrated.
How Long After Hallux Rigidus Surgery Can You Put Full Weight on Your Foot?
So, when will you be able to put weight on the operated foot? This depends on the type of procedure you had and how invasive it was. For example, if you have had a cheilectomy, your foot will be in a surgical shoe, and you will be able to bear weight immediately after surgery. On the other hand, if you have had joint fusion or osteotomy, it will take you longer to get back to your feet – usually about a month. Still, this all depends on your particular case – your doctor will be able to give you the most accurate information.
When Can You Return to Work After Hallux Rigidus Surgery?
Obviously, you will need to take a few weeks off work after hallux rigidus surgery in order to recover. Usually, people can return to their jobs after four to eight weeks – this depends on what kind of work you do and how physically demanding it is. Also, it depends on how you reacted to the surgery and whether you’re recovering with no complications.
Consult Your Surgeon About the Recovery Process
To find out more about the recovery process after hallux rigidus surgery, it’s best to reach out to a specialist – they will be able to provide you with all the necessary information, so you’ll know what to expect. Our doctors at Luxe Foot Surgery clinic will be more than happy to answer all your questions – contact us to book your free first appointment.
Can You Walk Normally After the Hallux Rigidus Surgery?
Whether you can bear weight and walk after hallux rigidus surgery or not depends on what kind of procedure you had. After a cheilectomy, patients can put weight on the operated foot immediately. When it comes to more complex procedures, you should expect to stay off your foot for about four weeks.