"Cartiva - Cushion For Your Big Toe"
For patients with arthritis of the big toe, surgery to fuse bones together often eliminates the pain, but comes with some side effects. Doctors are using a tiny shock absorber as a way to eliminate arthritis pain. “The gold standard for treating this condition has been, and still is, fusion,” said Ettore Vulcano, MD, assistant professor of orthopedics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. However, Dr. Vulcano used another method, called Cartiva to help one of his patients eliminate arthritic pain. “It’s a synthetic cartilage plug. It’s made of a material similar to that used for contact lenses,” said Dr. Vulcano. Cartiva is used by making an incision in the top of the toe, and drilling a small hole in the joint, then sliding the insert into place. Dr. Vulcano added that Cartiva is a good option for patients with end-stage arthritis in their big toes. If Cartiva doesn’t relieve the pain, fusion is still an option.
— Ettore Vulcano, MD, Assistant Professor, Orthopedics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Orthopedic Surgeon, Mount Sinai West