What’s up with my broken toe?

Calendar June 5, 2015
What’s up with my broken toe?


Vladimir from New Orleans has a complicated history with one of those little things you don’t realize how much you need until it’s out of commission — his big toe. Can Vladimir find a solution to his long-broken toe?

Vladimir: About year ago, I had an injury to my left big toe (dislocation of the phalangeal joint). My big toe has no motion or practically no movement at all, which causes calluses on both sides of the toe.

First big toe joint has full movement and hasn’t been injured at all. I went to an urgent care center only 2-3 hours after the injury happened, but the doctors didn’t do any interphalangeal joint repositioning. The joint was partially dislocated after trauma, which x-ray clearly shows, even though I told them that I can’t move or bend my big toe at all!

My question: Is it possible for me to regain full motion of my interphalangeal joint in my left big toe with joint replacement surgery and silicone or any other type of implant for interphalangeal big toe joint? Is there any implant on market especially made for arthoplasty of the interphalangeal joint on big toe?

Would it be different if the doctors have done the joint repositioning when the injury occurred, with an x-ray showing clear subluxation, and when I told them that my big toe has no motion. Will my big toe joint anyways be motionless, even if they fixed it by repositioning it?

Dr. Foreman: Implant surgery is not done for the interphalangeal joint of the big toe. There are implants for the joint below it (the metatarsophalangeal joint), but they don’t have good long-term results, especially in younger active people. If the interphalangeal joint hurts or causes painful calluses then fusion of the joint can be done. This straightens the joint but then there is permanently no motion of the joint.

Share this on: