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HomePatient InfoConditions and ProceduresFoot ConditionsBig Toe Arthritis (Hallux Rigidus)Big Toe Arthritis Surgery Testimonials

Big Toe Arthritis Surgery Testimonials

After struggling with arthritis in my large toe joint, I was limited as to which shoes I could wear that were comfortable, so after having steroid injections I took the plunge and on my doctor’s recommendation I was referred to David Gordon. What a fabulous approachable consultant. I explained that I'm very active even though I've joined the 60s club this year, I walk at least 2-3 miles a day with my dog, play tennis competitively as well as socially, and the thought of not being able to do these again would be unbearable.

At first I was going down the route of a toe joint replacement, but after x-rays and a scan, 2 cysts were discovered, resulting in the bone not being sound enough to accept a replacement. A toe joint fusion and bone graft was my option.

Fantastic, the first couple of weeks were the hardest with strict elevation, then gradually I was able to do more. 4-5 weeks post op I was walking my dog 1-2 miles every other day with the surgical shoe on , with slight discomfort but nothing I didn't expect after what I'd had done. I went back to work after 5 weeks, and my job does involve standing all day. I'm now 7 weeks post op, and am so pleased with the result so far. l have no pain like l had before, and am told l should be able to wear small heels and hope to be playing tennis after February.

I can't thank David Gordon enough, or my doctor for referring me to him.

Mrs S G, St Albans, Hertfordshire, November 2018

Thank you so much for agreeing to operate on my foot last May. I am really delighted with the result!

Before this operation, and as a result of a horse treading on my foot, my second toe was raised up ( hammer toe ), the big toe was moving across under the second toe and a bunion was beginning to form. All this was causing a lot of pain and discomfort, causing me to limp, limiting walking, and the type of shoe I could wear. To minimise the pain I was walking on the side of my foot.

Now, however, three months after the cheilectomy on the big toe, and hammer toe correction – Akin Osteotomy – on the 2nd toe, I am walking very comfortably, and am able to wear most of my shoes again, including high heels and dressage boots!

Recovery time has been so much quicker with this minimally invasive surgery, and I did not experience much pain. I performed all the exercises religiously! Now there is only a little swelling which is gradually subsiding and the lumpy feeling under my foot has gone. At last I am walking normally again!

My sincere thanks for taking such good care of me!

Mrs D W, Aylesbury, Bucks August 2016

I am 67 year old female who has always been fit and active. I had a consultation with Mr Gordon in August 2015 following more and more discomfort with a large hallux ridigus on my left foot and a smaller one on my right. I was very apprehensive before the consultation but Mr Gordon immediately put me at ease by his calm and reassuring manner. He informed me that he could carry out keyhole surgery to remove the hallux rigidus on both feet at the same time and assured me that I would be mobile almost immediately. I was given the choice of a local anaesthetic or a general, I opted for a general and was delighted to put be to sleep and woken up to find it was all over.

On the day of the operation there was an unfortunate delay and my operation took place at 7pm. I was back in my room by 10pm and had to stay in for the night just to be on the safe side as I had a general anaesthetic. I had been measured for crutches before the operation and the Physio arrived at 8am to see how I managed with them. After a few steps she asked me to put the crutches away and to walk up and down the stairs. I was amazed that I could walk without any aids and I managed to walk out of the hospital to the car park leaving the crutches behind.

I rested with my feet up for 3 days and even managed to pop into the office after 5 days just to catch up on what had gone on in my absence. I followed the exercise programme and other advice on the instruction sheet and I feel that this helped me to progress speedily. On my 6 week check up my right foot had no pain or discomfort, my left foot had discomfort and I could feel a clicking sensation especially when I pressed my foot on the clutch of my car. Mr Gordon asked me to continue the exercises aggressively to ensure I got as much movement as possible. The exercises are key to improving mobility.

4 months later I am able to put on normal shoes without any pain or discomfort, I can walk up to 5 miles at a good pace. I have just returned from a holiday and for the first time in years I have been able to walk barefooted and not be embarrassed at what we’re very ugly lumps on my feet, but the best thing is no pain.

I can’t thank Mr Gordon enough for his expertise and his kindness. The anaesthetist and all the staff at The Spire were excellent.

I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Mr Gordon and his team.

Mrs L B, Hertford, Hertfordshire, March 2016

I had a big toe fusion and it has gone brilliant. Really happy with the hospital and Mr Gordon. Very good care during and after my operation.

Mrs C D, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire November 2015

I had an operation on my foot in 2011- right 1st cheilectomy. My foot never stopped hurting following this, I couldn’t get my shoes on without pain and swelling so I went back to my GP two years later still in pain.

He referred me to Mr Gordon and after a small wait I went to see him and following x-rays he recommended I had a right 1st MTP fusion. Mr Gordon was so nice and caring and an excellent surgeon. I found him very easy to talk to and we discussed my wish to still wear high heels at the age of 65. He laughed and asked me to bring in the heels I wanted to wear so he could create a fiberglass imprint of the inner shoe to use as a template.

He fused my toe to the desired degree of dorsiflexion with two screws so I had a solid fix. After the operation I had no pain and after two weeks the wound had healed. Four weeks later I took my shoes to the consultation and I felt like cinders – the shoe actually fitted! Great job Mr Gordon. Thank you so much.

Mrs I B, St Albans, Hertfordshire, Foot pain May 2014

I am a 43 year old male and have suffered from Hallux Rigidus in both feet for a number of years. The restriction in movement from the bone spurs had become extremely painful to the point where any bending of the toe during walking, squatting etc. was excruciating. I was severely restricted to selection of shoes I could wear due to the pain whilst putting them on and during walking.

I was eventually referred by my GP to Dr Gordon through BUPA and the initial consultation was at the Spire Hospital, Harpenden. The consultation, X-Rays, diagnosis and recommendation for a Bilateral Cheilectomy was complete within the hour. After an excellent consultation with Dr Gordon I opted to have the operation on both feet at the same time.

The operation was performed at the Spire Hospital . The hospital staff, Dr Gordon and clinical support made the whole experience relaxed and at every stage we were well informed of what was going on.

I opted for a general anaesthetic, which went smoothly and woke from the operation with both feet bandaged and surgical sandals fitted. I was discharged from hospital the same day with crutches.

Over the next four days, following Dr Gordons excellent post-operative instructions, I suffered no pain with feet elevated (which is very important) and changed the dressing after 4 days. I could walk (although very tenderly) after a couple of days and could walk in shoes after about a week. I returned to work after 2 weeks.

It is important to follow the post-operative exercises and although these can be painful in the first instance, the benefits are amazing as the range of motion in the toe increased significantly over the weeks.

Now, 3 months after the operation, I can easily go for 8-10 mile dog walks at the weekend, my gait has improved dramatically as I can now bend the toes as I walk. Impact activities like squash and football can still be painful, but these are improving each week.

I cannot overemphasise how much this procedure has relieved the pain I was in, although there is still some level of pain in the joint, but this can be expected as the joint is arthritic.

I really want to pass on my personal thanks to Dr Gordon for the operation to allow me to walk pain free again.

Mr K A, Flitwick, Bedfordshire, Big Toe Arthritis Surgery November 2013

I had my big toe joint replacement nine months ago.

I play a lot of sport, frequently participate in ballroom and Latin American dancing and gardening. All of these activities involve the bending of my big toe and prior to the operation all of this was very painful as was wearing of high heels.

I can now work on my allotment for hours, attend the whole of the dance sessions, play a full game of tennis and run my own bed and breakfast business.

I was told that it would take a year for the replacement to heal completely. I still experience some slight discomfort, but since I am 75 years old this is no surprise.

I think that it is important to follow the post-operative exercises.

I am most grateful to Mr Gordon and his team for the their very friendly and efficient treatment.

Mrs J G, Hertfordshire. Big Toe Joint Replacement August 2013

If I had known about Mr Gordon 5 years ago when I sustained an injury to my right foot, I would never have left it! The constant swelling and discomfort around the toe joint was, increasingly over time, making a negative impact on my daily routine and so, despite my aversion to hospitals and surgery, I saw Mr Gordon whose professional yet easy, personable approach left me in no doubt that my foot would be in the best hands!

I was so pleased when, at only 8 weeks post op, I was comfortably back into my regular fitness regime which involves 4 to 5 hours of dance and step classes weekly as well as the added bonus of reintroducing my feet to high heeled shoes…something I could never even have contemplated before the surgery. Thank you Mr Gordon…an excellent surgeon with a flair for patient care!

Mrs S H, Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire Big Toe Arthritis Surgery July 2013

At the initial consultation I was very pleased with the clear information Mr. Gordon gave me. Throughout the process I was treated with the utmost respect and dignity. On the day of the operation I was reassured by Mr.Gordon and I found the nursing staff to be courteous and very helpful and as a result I felt very confident before going into theatre. This excellent care also continued after the operation in recovery and on the day care ward.

In particular both Mr. Gordon and the Anaesthetist listened to me. When I told Mr. Gordon I’d had a long recovery time following a previous operation he rescheduled my operation to be earlier in the day and the Anaesthetist also adapted the sedatives to suit my needs. I was treated as an individual.

I felt the whole experience was professional, efficient and caring.

Mrs B S, Luton, Bedfordshire Big Toe Arthritis Surgery June 2013


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