K is for Kellers Arthroplasty

July 4, 2023

Keller arthroplasty or procedure is an used in hallux valgus and hallux rigidus. It involved excision of the proximal one-third of the proximal phalanx and the first metatarsal head exostosis.

Keller’s arthroplasty is a surgical procedure performed on the foot to treat a condition called hallux rigidus. Hallux rigidus is a degenerative arthritis of the big toe joint (first metatarsophalangeal joint) that causes pain, stiffness, and limited motion in the joint.

During Keller’s arthroplasty, the surgeon removes a portion of the bone at the base of the big toe, known as the proximal phalanx. The goal of the procedure is to reduce pain and improve joint function by creating more space in the joint and reducing bone-on-bone contact.

The procedure involves making an incision on the top of the foot and accessing the joint. The surgeon then removes a small section of the bone, typically from the base of the proximal phalanx, to decompress the joint. The joint may also be cleaned of any bone spurs or damaged cartilage. After the bone is removed, the surgeon may stabilize the toe joint using various techniques, such as tendon or ligament repair, to help maintain proper alignment.

Keller’s arthroplasty is considered a joint-sparing procedure because it preserves the joint surfaces, unlike some other surgical options for hallux rigidus, such as fusion or joint replacement. It is typically recommended for patients who have mild to moderate arthritis in the big toe joint and who have not responded to conservative treatments like medication, physical therapy, or orthotics.

Recovery from Keller’s arthroplasty generally involves wearing a protective shoe or cast for a few weeks, followed by a gradual return to weight-bearing and normal activities. Physical therapy may be recommended to help regain strength and range of motion in the foot.


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