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I was wondering if anyone has experience of microfracture or drilling in the big toe joint?

I had a sports injury to my big toe in January 2009 and a failed cheilectomy in 2009 which led to an MRI being done. This showed an osteochondral lesion in the joint and has led to significant pain and being unable to take part in all the sports activities that I enjoy (running, rugby, triathlon, hiking....).

I am now scheduled to have this microfracture / drilling procedure next week and I have no idea what the likelihood is of success and the timescales involved in recovery. Has anyone else been through this? My surgeon was unavailable today at the pre-op assessment so I couldn't even ask questions about weight-bearing etc after the operation.

I understand that the fibrocartilage that may be produced is unlikely to be as hard-wearing as the original but would this rule me out of running etc? and how long is it likely to last?

My other options were a hemi joint replacement or fusion and I really have no idea which of these will give me the best chance of getting back to sports as I am very frustrated being stuck with just swimming!

cheers for any help/advice

Hi Mags,

I have a very similar condition to you, apart from the chilectomy(?). There's a stress fracture on my big toe 1st metatarsal joint, and a grade 4 cartilage damage. And also the ligament in this joint is fully torn. But funny thing is I still can do normal sports, apart from it being rather painful ONLY after the game. So it doesnt keep me on the sidelines :D

I have been to 2 orthopaedic surgeons here in Sydney, and both are suggesting the same. Which is for me to do an arthoscopy to remove the broken cartilage debris, plus a microfracture to the metatarsal bone.

I am no medical practitioner but I have been following news on big name atheletes' carreer saved by this microfracture operation. So I am pretty confident of the result of the operation. Also, it's minimally invasive, so thats a bonus.

So, have you finally done the surgery yet? Can you share how it was? Mine is a couple of months away, and I am extremely scared. Not with the procedure, but with NEEDLES! :(


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