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Find Pain Relief with the Cartiva Synthetic Cartilage Implant


MCO is excited to announce a new surgical procedure using a Cartiva synthetic cartilage implant. This specific implant is designed for the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) in your big toe, one of the most common arthritic joints within the foot.

"In my line of work, probably a good 30-40% of people come in complaining about big toe pain…" says Dr. Shaun A. Kink, MCO Foot and Ankle Specialist.

MCO has been treating arthritis for years, working to incorporate ideal procedures that offer the most comfortable post-treatment experience and enabling patients to resume their normal activities. The Cartiva implant is a great option for those seeking relief from arthritis pain in the toe.

What is the Cartiva?

The Cartiva implant is a man-made synthetic product consisting of polyvinyl alcohol (soft plastic-like substance) and saline (salt water). This implant is designed to replace the damaged cartilage tissue (usually due to arthritis) within your big toe, thus relieving pain while still providing a full range of motion. The product has been used in Europe and Canada for the past few years and has recently been approved by the FDA.

The Cartiva Implant vs. Fusion Surgery

There is, however, a gold standard for MCO's arthritis treatment, which involves a procedure called an "arthrodesis" or fusion. This surgery involves the fusing together of the two bones that make up your joint, alleviating pain and providing more stability. Essentially, the Cartiva implant surgery bridges the gap before the fusion surgery becomes necessary. Right now, studies suggest that 90% of Cartivas last for up to 6 years and 10% of these people eventually undergo fusion surgery. This percentage may increase as the implant becomes more widely used. The decision between the two surgeries, however, is always up to the patient and often depends on their age.

"If you want a one-and-done, the fusion is the best way to go. If you want to buy some time and keep motion, the Cartiva is an option," states Dr. Kink.

Are you suffering from big toe pain or other foot or ankle-related discomfort? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kink or one of our other trained specialists to discuss your options today. 309-663-6461 

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