Stem Cell Therapy for Big Toe Arthritis (Hallux Rigidus)

Stem Cell Therapy for Big Toe Arthritis (Hallux Rigidus)

What is big toe arthritis?

Big toe arthritis (hallux rigidus) occurs when arthritis develops at the base of the big toe. It can make common activities — even walking — difficult and painful. Patients who suffer from big toe arthritis experience tenderness, pain, stiffness, swelling, or even a burning sensation at the base of the toe.

If you or your family has a history of arthritis or joint conditions, or have obesity, you may be at risk for developing big toe arthritis. While there are several at-home remedies to alleviate symptoms of big toe arthritis, in many cases surgical intervention is necessary. Fortunately, stem cell therapy has proven to be an effective treatment option for some people suffering from hallux rigidus.

Stem Cell Treatment for Big Toe Arthritis

Innovations Medical treats big toe arthritis by injecting stem cells that are harvested from fat tissue (SVF) into the affected joint. See our blogs on What are Stem Cells? and Understanding Adipose-Derived Stem Cells for more information about the procedure.

Am I a candidate for stem cell treatment for big toe arthritis?

There are many reasons to explore stem cell therapy for big toe arthritis. Ideal candidates for stem cell therapy include patients who have not responded to current medical treatments, are no longer responding to current medical treatment, cannot tolerate recommended treatment for their condition, or those who want to avoid the recommended treatment for their condition — such as surgery. SVF stem cell therapy is minimally invasive, which translates into a faster recovery time for our patients.

Good candidates for stem cells for arthritis are:

  1. Persons who are medically stable enough to have minor surgery under local anesthesia performed. In some cases of chronically ill patients, we may request a surgical clearance from your doctor. It is very unusual for persons to not be able to undergo the procedure.
  2. Persons not taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) or who can stop them for 2-4 days around the procedure. Some patients may be able to continue their blood thinners with approval from our office.
  3. Persons who have inadequate treatment or unwanted side effects on their arthritis medications.
  4. Persons seeking to maintain joint health and avoid future problems with arthritis.

Cost of Stem Cell Treatments

The cost of the initial treatment ranges from $7,000 to $10,000. The range is dependent on the complexity of delivering the cells back to you. For instance, how many doctors are required to perform the operation has an impact on the overall cost. We’ll be able to narrow down these costs before your procedure so you’ll know exactly what is expected. For many people, the initial treatment is all that is needed, but in some cases subsequent treatments may be required — and done at a reduced fee.

Recovery from Stem Cell Therapy for Big Toe Arthritis

Recovery from stem cell injections is typically minimal. Mild bruising and swelling may occur at the site where the fat cells were harvested, which can last for up to two weeks. We offer a minor pain reliever for post-op pain, though most patients find it unnecessary. There may also be some bruising at the injection site. No additional recovery time is necessary besides the gradual improvement of arthritis symptoms.

Stem Cell Results for Big Toe Arthritis

For patients who receive SVF stem cell therapy for big toe arthritis, most people notice improvements within the first few days. This includes a reduction in pain and inflammation as well as increased mobility in the toe joint. Anti-inflammatory benefits typically last two to three months, and many patients see a gradual improvement in their overall condition over time. We perform stem cell therapy treatments at both our Dallas and Fort Worth locations.