The Smart Toe Implant is a type of memory implant that is used in a number of arthroplasty procedures for correcting hammer toe, mallet toe and claw toe deformities. This implant provides podiatric surgeons and orthopedics with a new technique for treating physical deformities associated with the leg. The best advantage of using Smart Toe Implant is that it corrects the implantation problems and failures typically associated with the earlier implants and K-wires, thus rendering highly effective outcomes along with fewer complications and quicker healing time.
The Smart Toe Implant is used for a number of different applications, some of which are listed below:
- Arthritic toes
- Crooked or deviated toes
- Hereditary conditions that affect toes 2 to 5
- Rigid hammer toes, mallet toes and claw toes
- Morton’s toe deformity (a condition where long toes need shortening)
Hammer toe deformities can affect people having varying anatomical foot structures. A number of factors must be present for a particular type of digital deformity to take shape. These may include alterations in the digital functions, abnormal pulling in the extrinsic and intrinsic foot musculature and maladjustment of the foot muscles with its surrounding environment. Generally during gait cycle, the foot muscles work in tandem with the leg’s extrinsic muscles to stabilize the condition of the toes. The hammer toe deformity occurs around the MPJ extension, DIPJ extension and PIPJ flexion. There are mainly three types of hammer toe conditions: namely, the flexor stabilization, extensor substitution and flexor substitution. The flexor stabilization is by far the most common type of hammer toe condition.
The Smart Toe Implant is made up of nickel titanium or NiTi which is a shape memory alloy. The alloy is also referred by the name of Nitinol in some occasions. The material of this alloy is extremely biocompatible and its intrinsic properties make it ideal for being used in various orthopedic implants. It is also the first implant design for hammer toe treatment that makes use of the heat-activated, compressive aspects of Nitinol. The Smart Toe Implant is cooled before the surgery and after it has been implanted, the body heat shortens its length and expands its width. The expansion firmly secures this implant in its position and the shortening of the device pulls bones tightly together for promoting natural fusion process. The compressive features help in bringing down the healing time.
There are a number of advantages for using the Smart Toe Implant. These are listed below:
- Eradicates the risk of a “pin tract” infection;
- Less chances of pain during the healing process;
- There are no healthy joint disruptions such as those that occur with screws;
- Compressive properties facilitate bone stability, bone union as well as rapid healing;
- No requirement for post-operative implant exposure, nothing external is needed after surgery for maintaining the new joint position
The Smart Toe Implant not only has numerous advantages for the patients but even doctors love to work with them as well. The implants can be placed precisely and they reduce the chances of complications, which is why doctors recommend them all the time.