What Is Bone Spur Surgery on the Top of the Foot?

Cheilectomy, arthrodesis and arthroplasty are three types of surgery for bone spurs on the top of the foot, explains OrthoInfo. Doctors offer these options if nonsurgical treatments, such as application of ice, use of anti-inflammatory medications and change of footwear, do not provide adequate relief from pain.

Cheilectomy involves removal of the bone spur and part of the foot bone to provide more room for the toe to bend, reports OrthoInfo. Doctors are likely to recommend this option when damage to surrounding cartilage is mild to moderate. The patient must wear a sandal with a stiff toe for several weeks following surgery, and the toe and surgical site may remain swollen for a few months.

Arthrodesis, recommended for severe cartilage damage, involves removal of damaged cartilage and the insertion of pins, screws or a plate to fuse the bones, states OrthoInfo. The patient can no longer move the toe following this type of surgery. The patient must wear a cast for six weeks after the procedure, and may need to wear shoes with rocker soles to facilitate walking once the foot heals.

Arthroplasty involves replacement of the toe joint with an artificial joint, notes OrthoInfo. The procedure relieves pain and preserves joint mobility. Recovery can take up to 12 weeks, states FootCareMD. Complications include implant failure or displacement, joint instability, and nerve damage.