Arthritis at the base joint of the big toe often requires fusion surgery to prevent constant pain, but now there’s a new option from a company called Cartiva our of Alpharetta, Georgia. The newly FDA approved Cartiva Synthetic Cartilage Implant (SCI) is the first man-made cartilage replacement device to become available in the U.S.
It is implanted into bone after making a bore hole, with the native bone on the opposite side of the joint allowed to rest against it. It’s durable and has similar mechanical characteristics as natural cartilage, hopefully lasting a good deal of time.
The big advantage of the Cartiva SCI is that the toe is allowed to flex instead of remaining stiff compared to fusion surgery.
Here’s a company animation describing the implantation of the Cartiva SCI: