First MTP Joint Fusion (Locking Plate)


This procedure treats severe arthritis of the joint at the base of the big toe. This is the first metatarsophalangeal joint, commonly called the first "MTP" joint. Arthritis in this joint can cause pain and swelling. It can limit your ability to walk, and it can limit the types of shoes you can wear comfortably. During this procedure, a metal plate is implanted to prevent movement of the MTP joint.


In preparation for the procedure, you are given general or regional anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in your skin to expose the MTP joint.

Removing Bony Growths

The surgeon carefully clears away the bony growths from the ends of the two bones that meet at this joint. These are the proximal phalanx and the first metatarsal. The surgeon removes the cartilage that lines the ends of these bones and reshapes the bones so they fit together.

Inserting the Implant

The surgeon secures the bones with a metal plate and screws. Another screw placed through the bones provides extra stability, pulling the ends of the bones together tightly. Over time, the two bones will fuse.

End of Procedure and Aftercare

When the procedure is complete, the incision is closed. Your foot is bandaged. It may be protected with a splint, a postoperative shoe or a special boot. You will be monitored for a brief time before you are allowed to go home. You may be asked to temporarily refrain from putting weight on the foot after the surgery. Your doctor will give you specific instructions to aid your recovery.