Hallux Rigidus Rehabilitation

Discover all the stages of hallux rigidus rehabilitation after percutaneous surgery: self-rehabilitation exercises, resumption of weight-bearing, physical therapy sessions...

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Why Undergo Rehabilitation after Percutaneous Hallux Rigidus Surgery?

Rehabilitation after percutaneous hallux rigidus surgery is a fundamental step in the healing process, essential for ensuring an optimal surgical outcome and promoting full recovery of mobility. After surgery, the body requires time for healing and readjustment. Following surgery for big toe arthritis, rehabilitation aims to restore the functionality of affected tissues and muscles, reduce pain, prevent complications, and facilitate the complete recovery of foot movements. Through targeted exercises, mobilization techniques, stretches, and muscle strengthening, post-operative rehabilitation enables the patient to gradually regain physical abilities and improve their quality of life. It thus represents a key stage in ensuring complete recovery and an optimal return to daily activities.

In What Cases Are Exercises for Hallux Rigidus Beneficial?

Only the surgeon can determine whether rehabilitation with exercises for hallux rigidus is necessary and can prescribe it accordingly. The need for this step primarily depends on the nature of the surgical procedure performed.

If an arthrodesis was performed to treat hallux rigidus, post-operative physiotherapy exercises may not be required. This procedure aims to permanently immobilize the joint through metatarsal joint fusion, effectively eliminating joint mobility.

If a cheilectomy was performed, rehabilitation exercises for the operated hallux rigidus are prescribed. This technique is used for mild arthritis cases. This percutaneous procedure aims to improve joint mobility.

In general, physical therapy is necessary. However, the rehabilitation instructions vary depending on the surgical procedure performed and each patient's specific condition.

Minimally Invasive Hallux Rigidus Surgery: Self-Rehabilitation Exercises

Starting from the first day after hallux rigidus surgery, patients can perform self-rehabilitation exercises independently. Before leaving the clinic, Dr. Julien Lopez can advise you on the rehabilitation exercises to be performed. These exercises help reduce post-operative pain and mobilize the operated foot. This step also prepares you for physical therapy sessions for hallux rigidus.

It is recommended to perform 10 repetitions of each exercise in the morning and evening or sets of 3 x 30 seconds. The execution of these exercises should not cause pain. If pain occurs, do not persist and stop the exercises.

All these exercises can be performed simply while sitting in a chair without the need for any equipment.

Flexion and Extension of the Big Toe

This exercise is only to be performed in the case of cheilectomy (removal of dorsal osteophytes +++). Also known as resection of the upper 1/3 of the metatarsal head. Place the operated foot on the opposite thigh while holding it with one hand. Use your other hand to grasp the big toe. Slowly flex the joint downward and hold the position for 5 seconds. Release and then repeat the same movement upward.

Active Toe Movements and Interphalangeal Joint Mobilization

These exercises can be performed regardless of the surgical procedure performed. This exercise involves moving your toes without using your hands.

Foot Arch Massage

The goal of this exercise is to stimulate blood circulation, naturally drain the foot, and relieve pain resulting from percutaneous hallux rigidus surgery. To perform the arch massage, it is advisable to use a tennis ball. Place your foot on the tennis ball. Roll it slowly under your foot, from heel to toes, and vice versa.

Big Toe Arthritis: Physical Therapy Exercises

After minimally invasive surgery for big toe arthritis, physical therapy exercises may be conducted with the assistance of a professional. In rare cases, physical therapy sessions may begin immediately, but they are typically initiated around 3 weeks post-operatively (as prescribed by Dr. Julien Lopez during the reoperative consultation).

Immediately after hallux rigidus surgery, the physiotherapist will assist you in standing and walking, using a specially designed shoe for your comfort.

Like all surgical procedures, minimally invasive hallux rigidus surgery can lead to post-operative complications. Swelling is not technically a complication of this surgery, as it is expected. Depending on its severity, swelling may be treated either through the application of green clay poultices starting from the end of the first month or through lymphatic drainage sessions performed by a physiotherapist. Cold compresses may also be applied multiple times a day.

You are now familiar with all the stages of hallux rigidus surgery, its recovery, and rehabilitation. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Julien Lopez's office.

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The informations on the page is provided for information only, it evokes general cases: your situation is specific.

Dr Julien Lopez, orthopedic foot surgeon in Nice welcomes you and advises you for your plantar aproneuritis.

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