One reason this solution is not widely used is that it has not been around long enough to show long-term figures. One doctor expresses their concerns: “What I’m worried about is the long-term risks about having [synthetic cartilage] in the body. ” One challenge presented in the making of the synthetic material is that of consistency. “To replace cartilage, a material must be strong enough to withstand forces on a joint, but soft enough so it doesn’t destroy surrounding tissue” says Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic. In other words, it needs to strike a balance between hard and soft. One active treatment for big toe arthritis is drilling a hole within the bone and placing a cylinder that is roughly the consistency of pencil eraser into the base of the toe. As of September 27, 2018, fifteen thousand of these procedures have been performed. In a group of one hundred and fifty-two patients 15% report lackluster pain relief, 97% report pain relief, and 93% would have the surgery again. Another popular solution to the problem of big toe arthritis is fusion.As stated previously fusion is joining the bones together to alleviate pain. My personal views on this are as such: fusion, though providing greater pain relief is not as effective as synthetic cartilage because of the limited range of movement. Patients of fusion have reported frustration at the inability to play sports well, wear high heels, and lessened balance. I think that synthetic cartilage is interesting and shows great promise. It shows low numbers of success, but I think this mainly is due ti it being a new technology, and it has been performed very little.
-NOTE- Coach Walsh, This paper was heavily modeled off the New York times article (see bibliography) that I used as my information for the paper. I feared as I wrote this that you may think that it was plagiarized from the New York times, but it written completely in my own words except for the quotes and figures.