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.

toe fusion

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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86 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!

    • arthrosurface says:

      Hi Craig, just want to make sure you received our email

    • Sharon says:

      Hello, I have had a fusion of both joints on my right toe. Of course, it does not bend and I am having problems with rubbing on my second toe. It is shorter than my left toe: therefore, my shoe is too long on my fused right toe. Is it possible to have a replacement on my right toe. I do not like that it does not bend at all. I live in Indianapolis, In and do not know any doctors here that do the Hemocap surgery.

  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.

    • arthrosurface says:

      Hi Sue, We sent you an email yesterday. Let us know if you didn’t receive it.

    • Hanna says:

      Sue, I’m curious if you had your surgery? I’m also in the Austin, TX area and trying to decide between a fusion or arthrosurface and would love to know how it went for you. Thanks!

  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.

  21. amy s says:

    I am scheduled to have my big toe fused and just came across your site. Could you please send me doctors in/around the Danbury, CT area that perform this type of surgery.
    Thank you

  22. Erin Seibel says:

    I live in St. Augustine FL and my doctor has said I need a big toe fusion. He will not do a joint replacement. Can you send me any info on this and any doctors in my area that may do this procedure.


  23. Peter says:

    I have had an MTP fusion recommended. Would like to explore your alternative. Could you send me more info and a list of Doctors or hospitals in NYC or the Catskills in NY State?

  24. Can you send me info on this procedure? I live in Rapid City SD.

  25. Nancy says:

    My doctor has recommended a MTP fusion on my right foot, but I would like more information on the Arthrosurface Hemicap after reading of many positive outcomes. I live in the Indianapolis area and would like the name(s) of any doctors who perform this type of surgery.

  26. Karen says:

    Please send me additional info on the HemiCap? I live near Milwaukee Wisconsin. Thanks.

  27. Michelle says:

    Hi I live in Melbourne Australia and I have to have the toe fusion do you have details of anyone doing procedure over here

  28. Vickie says:

    I am 59 and an active tennis player. I have hallux rigidus and was told fusion was the best option to eliminate the pain. Is this an option for me so I can stay active, and can you send me information and doctors performing this in the Oklahoma City area?

  29. Karen Garner says:

    Looking for this option in Michigan. Any doctors here that do this procedure?

  30. Janice Smith says:

    I have part of my big toe fused, along with having6a bunion removed as well in 2012. Is it possible to have this procedure toe hemicap done?

    Janice – Colchester UK

  31. Marise Burgess says:

    Do not want the fusion but the pain is wearing me down. I am in the NYC, Philadelphia area. I am apparently bone on bone now so the surgeon was a bit too excited to offer me the fusion. He said there was an alternative with cartilege replacement but really down played it. Said it was new to FDA and only 85%. Any info would be appreciated.

  32. Ruth says:

    Hi I Live in Brisbane Australia and had a toe fusion in my second and third toe to correct hammertoes. Surgeon cut my ligament and now my two fused toes are turning to the left and my third toe is now crossing over the third toe. I would like to know if anybody on the sunshine coast or Brisbane does this hemicap toe joint procedure as I hate the feeling of not being able to grip the floor as I walk.

    • arthrosurface says:

      Hi Ruth, we emailed you our local distributor’s information yesterday. Let us know if you didn’t receive it.

  33. Chris says:

    Need info for doctor in Fairfield county, Connecticut or NYC

  34. Maya says:

    Hi I would like more information about this procedure. I live in the U.K, midland area.

  35. Danial Jazaeri says:

    I have a chronic dislocation in my 2nd toe due to prolonged trauma. Was told by my doctor that I would need a PIP toe fusion. I am only 23 and highly active – I would like to retain as much range of motion as possible. I am in Toronto, Canada. Any surgeons in my region doing this surgery? Let me know.


  36. Davide says:

    Please send me more info! I would particularly be interested in toe fusion reversal. I currently reside in Manhattan, NYC. Thanks bunches

  37. Sara Rigler says:

    Please send me information on the implant surgery and doctors that use this device near zip code 95066 (Santa Cruz, CA)

  38. Brandy says:

    I had a hemi implant in my late 20’s. It failed within the first 5 years. Had I known the low success rate with this surgery, there is no way I would have done it. I’m now 39 and have had 6 surgeries on that foot, have nerve damage and have lost almost 3 inches of bone to fix what the implant damaged. It was by far the WORST decision I ever made!

  39. David Ox says:

    The problem I am having with my toe is an ulcer that heals and reoccurs. While this is typical for diabetics I am NOT diabetic.

    I have been fighting for this problem for over two years. I have gone to a number of “foot doctors” who have failed to help me resolve this problem. The toe has become infected more than once. Bandaging and protecting it against a recurrence has become a daily ritual.

    I am currently seeing a foot surgeon, who has been the first to explain the continuing problem. I have been told that time has changed my stride. Apparently my right great overextends and contacts ground behind the first joint. Fusion has been suggested as the ultimate fix. After spending a few days online reading fusion horror stories I am desperately seeking an alternative.

    1 – Has your product been used in my situation before with positive results?

    2 – Can you give me the name of a practitioner in Central Florida (Ocala, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tampa, St Petersburg) that is practicing your method.

  40. Sharon Harbold says:

    I had a joint replacement in 2014 on my right toe for Hallux Rigid & excision of bone spurs. This didn’t work. Have been to 2 different place for what to do, both say fusion. Please send me names of other places/doctors in my area, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area, that have used the HemiCap.

  41. Paul smith says:

    Both my big toes are bad and the surgeon has said i need fusion in both toes. Prior to the pain i used to run alot which i want to get back to aswell as my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I live in the south east united kingdom. Could you send me some local docs that may be able to help plsase?

  42. Linda says:

    Hi! I have had bilateral toe titanium implants in both my feet. There is a big discrepancy between the first and second toe length. The first
    toes are considerably shorter. Can the hemi cap implant help me? I do so hate to have a distraction arthrodesis of the first toe with graft! HELP!

  43. I am due to have left large toe fusion surgery this Friday. My bunion is getting much worse with constant pain and swelling. My right toe shows signs that I may have similar issues in the near future. I’m having second and third thoughts about this fusion surgery. Now I want to postpone this procedure to rethink my options. Please send me information on this hemi implant ASAP please.

  44. Sharon says:

    I had fusion of my right toe. Having problems with separation and rubbing on second toe. Please advise doctors in my area or close by. I live in Indianapolis, In. I would go to Chicago or Louisville, Ky or any place that was the best!

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