A question kids may be asked in school is “Which objects can float?” Immediately coming to mind may be answers such as a balloon, a boat, or a rubber ducky. What has never probably crossed one’s mind would be aTOE!
However in the podiatry world, we have seen numerous patients with a second toe that “floats” up and won’t lie flat. Causes of this floating toe are usually due to biomechanical and structural issues that have worsened over time. Bunions, Hammertoes, and improper foot structure can cause the joint to dislocate over time. This dislocation can cause weakening of the tissue under the joint known as the plantar plate. Previously, this condition was extremely difficult to treat. There was no consistent way to get this floating toe to stay flat and fix the plantar plate adequately. The main reason was due to difficulty accessing the small joint space and lack of proper tools to do so.
In the last few years, different methods have been performed to repair this hard-to-reach plantar plate. However, just a few months ago, Smith and Nephew released a trio of instrumentation dubbed their “Hat Trick” systems. One of these techniques provides a way to fix this plantar plate consistently with stellar results.
Dr.Diana Emini and I had the privilege of being the first physicians in the Chicagoland area to use this new surgery technique! We were excited to give this new surgery a try, and we were extremely happy with the results. For the first time, we feel as though there is a true long-term solution to correct this problem. If you suffer from this condition, also referred to as subluxation of the 2nd MTP joint or ruptured plantar plate, then there is an answer for you. And the answer to “Which objects can float?” should not be a toe.
BY: Michelle Kim