Foot Health

What is the success rate of hallux rigidus surgery?

When conservative measures fail to manage the symptoms of Hallux Rigidus, surgical intervention often becomes the treatment of choice. Understanding the success rates of these surgical procedures can greatly assist in decision-making processes for both the patient and the medical team. The efficacy and success rates vary depending on the specific surgical procedure undertaken, with Cheilectomy, Arthrodesis, and Arthroplasty being the most common.


Cheilectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing bone spurs and a portion of the foot bone to increase joint space, thereby improving mobility and reducing pain.

Success Rate

Research suggests that Cheilectomy has a high success rate in terms of pain relief and improved function, particularly in early-stage Hallux Rigidus. Studies indicate success rates ranging from 75-90%, with many patients reporting significant improvements in walking and reduction in pain levels. However, the long-term success may be slightly lower due to potential for the condition to progress.

Arthrodesis (Joint Fusion)

In Arthrodesis, the surgeon fuses the bones of the affected joint to form a single, rigid bone. This eliminates movement in the joint, which prevents pain that previously resulted from bone-on-bone contact.

Success Rate

Arthrodesis is often considered the gold standard for severe Hallux Rigidus due to its high success rate and patient satisfaction levels. Success rates in terms of pain relief and function improvement are typically cited around 85-95%. However, patients will permanently lose movement in the fused joint, which can limit certain activities and shoe wear.

Arthroplasty (Joint Replacement)

Arthroplasty involves replacing the affected joint with an artificial one. This can be performed as a hemiarthroplasty (partial replacement) or total arthroplasty.

Success Rate

The success rate of Arthroplasty for Hallux Rigidus is somewhat contentious. While initial studies showed promising results with success rates of around 80%, some later studies have reported high rates of implant failure over time, decreasing the overall long-term success rate. Hence, this procedure is generally reserved for older, less active patients or those who would not tolerate the limitations of Arthrodesis.

Factors Affecting Success Rates

While these numbers provide a general guideline, individual success rates can vary significantly based on several factors:

Surgical Skill and Experience

The experience and skill of the surgeon performing the operation can have a significant impact on the success rate of the procedure.

Patient’s Health Status

The overall health of the patient, including factors such as age, weight, activity level, and the presence of any comorbid conditions, can influence the success rate.

Postoperative Rehabilitation

Compliance with postoperative care instructions and rehabilitation protocols can also affect the outcome of the surgery.


Surgical intervention for Hallux Rigidus generally boasts high success rates, with the specific rate depending on the type of procedure. Cheilectomy and Arthrodesis often yield high success rates, with Arthroplasty being slightly more variable. Patient characteristics, surgeon expertise, and postoperative care play a substantial role in the overall success of these procedures. As with any medical decision, these statistics should be considered alongside patient preferences, lifestyle, and overall health in a shared decision-making process with the healthcare provider.