• 925 Clifton Ave, Ste. 107 Clifton, NJ 07013

Cheilectomy

Every time you walk, your big toe bends to provide you with stability and forward motion that pushes off the rest of your foot. When the joint in either one of your big toes develops bone spurs due to aging, an injury or another foot disease, walking becomes a painful ordeal. While conservative lifestyle changes may alleviate some of that pain, only a targeted bone spur removal toe surgery called cheilectomy fixes the condition. In the trained, experienced hands of Dr. Velimir Petkov at Premier Podiatry, you can expect to resume pain-free movement in short order. Call today for relief from foot and toe pain.

A cheilectomy is a type of foot surgery that your podiatrist in northern New Jersey may perform to remove toe bone spurs on your big toe joint. Bone spurs on this joint look like bumps on the top of the toe joint that resemble a callus, although calluses never form on the top of the toe. These bone spurs form because of a type of degenerative arthritis that causes the toe joint to stiffen. Another name for this progressive condition is hallux rigidus, which means stiff big toe.

When you have hallux rigidus, it becomes more and more difficult to walk as time passes because of the stiffness in your toe. The condition is often accompanied by toe pain and foot pain. Dr. Velimir Petkov at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, New Jersey is a board-certified foot specialist with the expertise required to determine whether the best treatment for you is cheilectomy surgery.

Do You Need Toe Bone Spur Surgery?

To diagnose hallux rigidus and determine if you need surgery, your NJ podiatrist examines your foot to see if there’s evidence of bone spurs. He’ll move the toe around to check range of motion and to see how far the toe can move without pain. He may order digital x-rays to measure how big your existing bone spurs are and the degree of toe joint degeneration that exists.

Very often, if you seek treatment at the first sign of discomfort, your doctor identifies the early signs of potential toe and foot problems. If a bone spur hasn’t formed yet, he recommends steps you can take to possibly stop the progression of this condition with conservative treatment methods such as:

  • Rest and avoiding activities that hurt your feet
  • Applying ice to your foot as needed to reduce inflammation
  • Modifying your footwear to more foot-friendly shoes
  • Putting a pad in your shoe to limit the movement of your big toe

Dr. Petkov may recommend a corticosteroid injection to relieve pain if non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as naproxen or ibuprofen aren’t helping. If conservative methods don’t work, you may still be experiencing severe stiffness and pain. When your ability to do daily activities is being affected, surgery may be the only option left.


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What Happens During Cheilectomy Surgery

A cheilectomy involves shaving the bone spur to relieve pain and to help preserve motion in your toe joint. During this minimally invasive surgery, your podiatrist removes the bone spurs and other bony material from the big toe joint through an incision on the top of the joint. Shaving the bone allows extra space for the toe to move, restores range of motion and reduces pain.

Dr. Petkov performs this procedure on an outpatient basis in his Passaic County office. His expert staff administers regional or local anesthesia, and the procedure usually lasts an hour or less. You remain in a recovery room for a few hours after the surgery, and you’ll need someone to drive you home. Your toe may feel sore for the first few days after surgery, but the pain disappears fairly soon in your recovery.

Toe Bone Spur Surgery Recovery

You need to keep the surgical area covered for a couple of weeks, and your toe area may remain swollen for a few months. Stretching exercises provided by the doctor help your toe recover enough in a short time so that you can resume your normal daily activities.

To remain free of pain and keep bone spurs from reoccurring, follow the advice of your podiatrist:

  • Rest when you feel the slightest discomfort in your big toe.
  • Wear proper-fitting shoes that give your big toe sufficient space to move freely without being squeezed.
  • Maintain a regular exercise program designed to keep the toe joint flexible and to strengthen surrounding muscles and tendons.
  • Stick to a follow-up schedule for regular checkups with Dr. Petkov in Clifton, NJ.

Getting Help for Hallux Rigidus

You may have difficulty performing ordinary day-to-day activities such as walking, running, standing on your toes or even keeping your balance without the use of your big toe. After big toe bone spur surgery, Most people experience significant pain relief and the ability to gradually resume normal activities. If you have a stiff big toe or a visible bone spur, don’t postpone having it evaluated.

Even if you’re just starting to experience some toe stiffness, get an evaluation from an expert podiatrist. The longer you wait, the more likely painful bone spurs may form. Contact Premier Podiatry for care of hallux rigidus or any other foot injuries, foot pain or swollen feet. Once you set up a consultation, Dr. Petkov and his team evaluate your symptoms, recommend a treatment plan and help you start feeling better soon.

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