Cheilectomy is a surgical procedure that treats early stages of arthritis by removing a bone spur.

What is it?

Cheilectomy is a surgical treatment that alleviates pain in the first metatarsophalangeal joint, commonly referred to as the big toe joint. In early stages of arthritis, bone spurs develop, which limit the range of joint movement and cause pain. If nonsurgical methods of treating bone spurs fail, this surgery offers a solution.

What should I do to prepare?

Before receiving surgery, the patient should consult with a physician or surgeon to determine if this surgery is the proper course of action. X-rays and other diagnostic imaging techniques are used to develop a treatment plan. Medication plans and fasting routines may be necessary depending on the surgeon’s guidelines. Cheilectomy is typically an outpatient procedure, but the patient should be prepared to remain at the hospital for post-surgical evaluation. Additionally, the patient should arrange travel accommodations in advance.

What happens during the process?

After anesthesia is administered to the patient, the surgeon makes an incision over the bone spur region. The bone spurs are removed in addition to any other obstructions of the metatarsophalangeal joint.

What are the risks and potential complications?

A Cheilectomy is performed at relatively low risk. However, risks that accompany surgical procedures include, but are not limited to improper anesthesia, infections, nerve damage, excessive bleeding, an inability of the wound to heal, and bone fractures. This procedure does not guarantee that arthritis will be completely healed, but rather alleviates pain and approves mobility.


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