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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about a cheilectomy?

A cheilectomy is surgery to remove a bone spur in the joint of your big toe where it meets your foot. A cheilectomy may help decrease stiffness and pain in the big toe and improve movement.

How do I prepare for a cheilectomy?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. Your provider may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of surgery. Your provider will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery. Tell your provider if you or a family member has had a blood clot.

What will happen during a cheilectomy?

You may be given local anesthesia to numb the surgery area and medicine to keep you relaxed. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during the procedure, but you should not feel any pain. You may instead be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your surgeon will make an incision over the joint where your toe meets your foot. Your surgeon will remove the bone spur from your toe. Your surgeon may also clean out your joint. Your incision will be closed with stitches or steristrips and covered with a bandage.

What will happen after a cheilectomy?

You will usually start to see improvement after 6 weeks. You may have swelling for up to 3 months after surgery. Your symptoms may continue to improve for up to 12 months.

What are the risks of a cheilectomy?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your scar may cause irritation or discomfort. You may have numbness or tingling at the surgery site. This may become permanent. Your wound may take longer to heal if you have poor blood flow to your limbs. You may continue to have pain and stiffness after your cheilectomy. If this happens, you may need a fusion. You may get a blood clot in your arm or leg. This may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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