The first joint of the great toe is called the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint and bends with every step that you take. The ends of the joint are covered by smooth cartilage. When the smooth cartilage wears down, often from “wear and tear” or trauma, the ends of the bone can rub together. A bone spur, or osteophyte, may develop. Though commonly seen at the MTP, spurs can occur in other areas of the foot, including the ankle. When they occur at the MTP, the spur prevents the great toe from bending as you walk, causing pain or a locking sensation. When at the ankle, pain may result.

Bone Spur


Cheilectomy is performed through an incision and the spur removed.

Pre- and Post-operative

The answers to many of your pre- and post-operative questions are in the pre-operative handout that was given to you. Please take a moment and read through it. 

Your first post-operative appointment will be 10 – 14 days after surgery. At that time, the dressing and sutures will be removed; x-rays may be taken. You will be given a special shoe called an orthowedge or negative heel shoe, which allows you to walk, but places pressure on your heel rather than the toes.

You will be able to wear a stiff-soled sandal or shoe 6 – 8 weeks following surgery. Custom orthotics for your shoes may be prescribed. Swelling may take up to one year to completely subside. Please note that if surgery was on your right foot, you will not be able to drive until you are able to wear street shoes.

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist, please call our scheduling line.

Phone: 202-444-3668

Foot and Ankle Specialists

Paul S. Cooper, MD
Paul S. Cooper, MD
Francis X. McGuigan, MD
Francis X. McGuigan, MD