Indications for operation

Arthritis of the big toe where the main problem is excess bone growth.


The operation will be performed while you're asleep under a general anaesthetic.

Operation type



An incision approximately 5cm long is made over the big toe joint on the inside of the foot.


The joint of the big toe is inspected to ascertain exactly how much damage there is to the surface. All of the excess bone spurs are shaved away, allowing the toe to bend upwards to around 90 degrees. The toe is manipulated to achieve this movement.

Wound closure

The wounds are closed with absorbable stitches.


Dressings are placed over the stitches and a supportive dressing applied to the foot and big toe.

Immediate aftercare

You will be able to get out of bed and walk on the foot as soon as it feels comfortable. Once your surgeon and anaesthetist are happy you'll be given an outpatient's appointment and allowed to return home. You can then reduce the dressing to a simple sticky dressing after 3-4 days.


All operations carry small risks of complications. Whilst these are very rare, they need to be balanced against the potential benefits and this is something that your surgeon will discuss with you in detail before the operation. The specific risks for cheilectomy are wound infection, injury to a small nerve, recurrence of pain, ongoing stiffness.

Our practice covers the following hospitals:

Parkside Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 971 8026

St Anthony's Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 335 4678

Ashtead Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 221441

New Victoria Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 9499000

Clock House Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 840837