Toe Fusion NOT for you?

April 18, 2014

Have you been told that you need a toe fusion? Although it can provide excellent pain control, a fusion is considered a procedure of last resort for patients with a sedentary lifestyle because it eliminates all toe movement, making it especially difficult or impossible for women who want to wear high heels. It may also limit activities such as running, golf, tennis and jobs or activities where kneeling or reaching up are required. Unlike a fusion procedure, the Arthrosurface Toe HemiCAP® will relieve the pain in your joint and still maintain your natural range of motion. Results from over 20,000 Toe HemiCAP implantations have shown that many patients regained their active lifestyle while finding pain relief in their toe joint.


Below are two videos from patients who both had their fusions removed (known as an unfusion) and replaced with a HemiCAP implant. The first video shows Kathy, who initially received a toe fusion after consulting with her surgeon. As time went on, she found little pain relief and was unhappy with her level of function. She later met with a new surgeon who was able to have her toe fusion revised to a HemiCAP implant. After the unfusion, Kathy was thrilled with the results and was finally able to bend her toe again, allowing her to walk comfortably and confidently. The video that follows comes from Dr. Solomon of Marble Falls, Texas. The video documents one of his patients and the range of motion achieved after he performed an unfusion and converted it to an Arthrosurface Toe HemiCAP.


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42 responses to “Toe Fusion NOT for you?”

  1. Tracey holt says:

    Can you tell me how long these hemicaps are lasting in patients so far and if many surgeons in the UK are performing them please. I am being advised to have a fusion and I know this is not what I want as it will restrict movement and shoes. I live in Gloucestershire England and would appreciate any advice or help X

    • arthrosurface says:

      Hi Tracey – yes, there are patients that are over 10 years out from their surgery and still couldn’t be happier. There are many surgeons in the UK who are trained and use the Toe HemiCAP Products. I will send you an email.

    • Michelle brandt says:

      Worst decision I ever made was doing this procedure……. now had to have bone graft with fusion…. the partial joint replace works about 1/2 the time. Do your reshearchnpeople.

      • arthrosurface says:

        We are sorry to hear about your difficult experience. As you know, there are many factors that contribute to a successful outcome and your doctor will be your best resource to help you achieve the optimal outcome. As the medical device manufacturer, Arthrosurface is required to document any customer complaint that alleges deficiencies related to service or the identity, quality, durability, reliability, safety, effectiveness, or performance of the device. Should you believe your case involves any such deficiencies, please contact All customer complaints are reviewed for reporting to FDA

  2. Sally Small says:

    I too would like to know who in the Uk performs the Toe HemiCAP implant procedure, and if possible speak to anybody who has had the operation. I live in London.
    Many thanks.

    • arthrosurface says:

      Hi Sally – I’m sending you an email with more information. Be on the lookout.

    • Tracey says:

      I think if you are an NHS patient like me, our options are limited to what is provided. I am seeing a Podiatric surgeon from Hereford and he says he doesn’t do joint replacements at all neither did the orthopaedic surgeon I saw in Gloucester. They say they fail too frequently ! I feel forced into a fusion as my only option

  3. David Wheeler says:

    Please could you send me some information too, I’m in Northwest England. Thanks.

  4. Richard Fredricy says:

    My doctor has recommended fusion on my big toe, right foot because the deterioration is such that a joint replacement is apparently not an option. Please send me information re: the toe hemi cap procedure and doctors in Colorado Springs, CO who perform this surgery. Thank you

  5. Elizabeth Swann says:

    Hi, I live in Los Angeles, California and was wondering if I could receive more information on this.
    Thank you.

  6. Mike Ratchman says:

    my doctor is recommending that I have both big toes done. I don’t like the idea. Can you please send me more info.

  7. Craig says:

    My Orthosurgeon has also recommended fusion for my big toe on my right foot, and was hoping to get more information on this procedure, and if their are surgeons in the Chicagoland area, IL, USA who perform this surgery. Thank you very much!

  8. Katie says:

    Hello. Is joint replacement possible after a fusion has already been performed?

  9. Sue says:

    My surgeon has recommended a fusion on my big toe on my right foot. Are there experienced doctors who perform the joint replacement in Austin, Texas? Thank you.

  10. Mike Ratchman says:

    Anyone know who in San Antonio does this procedure.

  11. Liz mak says:

    My podiatrist suggested fusion on my right big toe. I would like to find out more about the Hemi cap procedure and doctors who perform this in Boston. Thanks.

  12. Patricia Johnson says:

    I recently have a fusion of the Great Toe, unbeknownst to me. My surgeon did not inform me of the possibility that this would happen during surgery. I am 62 years old, active….love wearing 3 inch heels!! He basically tells me it will be “trial and error” as to whether I will be able to wear my high heels again. I am frustrated.
    My surgery was October 31, 2016.
    May I have the names of some surgeons in the Indianapolis and/or Carmel IN area that do this Hemi cap procedure?

  13. Laurie says:

    I am in Sacramento Ca and would like information and any referrals to a surgeon who is an expert in the procedure. Thank you!!!

  14. WALDON ADAMS says:

    In Washington, DC. Is it done here? Also, what if one of the fusions was with a bone graft?

  15. Country Lane Credeur says:

    Hello, I had a hemi implant in dec 2013. I’m still in pain and ortho recommend joint fusion. I’m 41 and still love my heels and being active. Is this an option for me? Thanks in advance!

  16. Marilyn Schwendemann says:

    Live near St. Louis, Mo. & would like information and any referrals to a surgeon

  17. Alexandra Peterson says:

    I live in the UK. I have been advised that my left big toe should be fused. Not happy with this, as I still like wearing heels etc. can you email me details of your,product please.

  18. Kim Wood says:

    Just recovering from operation on my toe to remove the dorsal bone spur. They have said that it may last 5 years or so and I will need a fusion. I live in the UK and would like your email with those that perform the procedure over here. I know the information may be out of date by the time I need it but it will serve as a stepping stone at the time.

    Thank you

  19. I’m 65 years old and love to play golf, ski etc. so fusion was not an option for me. I turned to the Toe Hemicap implant procedure as my only other option and glad I did. I had my surgery Monday February 20th and was amazed that by that Friday I was up walking around and driving. My wife and friends were blown away as I was. I also had bone spurs removed as well. No doubt I was sold on the product & procedure but finding the right doctor is more important and I got real lucky. I spent a couple of months interviewing doctors and found the right one. So happy I did this. I’m back to work and working my way back to the golf course.

  20. Karen says:

    Could you please send me details, I’ve been offered fusion but I’m too young to wear flats for life and I’m still very active. I don’t want to give up on exercise cos my toe won’t allow it. I’m in the UK too.

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