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After the anesthesia has taken effect, a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff will be used to temporarily stop the blood flow to your foot. This may be a cuff around your thigh or a tight band around your ankle. This allows your doctor to see the surgical area more clearly.
To help reduce the chance of infection, the area will be scrubbed with a special soap, and you will be covered with sterile sheets. The only area exposed will be the site where the procedure is being performed.
Your doctor will begin the procedure by making a 2-3 inch incision on top of the MTP joint, at the base of your big toe. Where the bone of your big toe meets the metatarsal, a saw or other instrument is used to shape these bones so that they fit together better. The big toe is placed in the corrected position and the MTP joint is fixed in this position with pins, screws, or a metal plate. This hardware holds the bones in place so that they heal correctly. The plates and screws are generally not removed unless they are bothersome. If pins are used, they may extend outside the skin.
Once fixation of these bones is complete, your skin is stitched back together and a bandage is applied to the foot. A post-operative shoe, walking boot, or cast may be used to protect the joint while it fuses. The choice of which device depends on your specific situation and your surgeon's preference.
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