Another option is arthroplasty. After removing the corresponding articular joint surfaces, these will then be replaced with metal endoprostheses. This procedure will only allow a fusion should the arthritis progress. The most modern and in our opinion best option is the relief of arthritic joint surfaces with an implant (made out of Polyvinyl, Alcohol, Hydrogel and Hemiarthroplasty) that acts as joint-preserving surgery and achieves very good results. The implant has a life span of 10 years or more which still leaves the patient with the other two options should there be a need for further operation in the future.
This method was first introduced in the UK in 2008 and in Germany in 2007 by the European Foot Institute. With the release of a study from the Cartiva company in co-operation with the European Foot Institute in 2016, this implant finally got the recognition it so deserves. Since then it has been used with great success and the European Foot Institute has helped in getting this recognised as a successful procedure to treat the Hallux Rigidus.
Most private insurance companies cover the costs of this procedure.