Fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeons Michael I. Goldberger, M.D., and David M. Epstein, M.D., of Tri-County Orthopedics are performing Cartiva Synthetic Cartilage Implant (SCI) procedures for patients needing first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint replacement. This procedure is a motion-sparing treatment option for patients experiencing debilitating arthritis in the great (big) toe. Using this state-of-the-art technology and instrumentation, Drs. Goldberger and Epstein perform Cartiva SCI procedures at the Surgical Center at Cedar Knolls, at 197 Ridgedale Ave. in Cedar Knolls.

“For patients suffering from hallux rigidus, or osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis in the great toe, this new surgical option provides several benefits over other treatment methods, including significantly improved mobility and range of motion following surgery,” says Dr. Epstein. “Traditionally, the same condition is treated using a procedure called arthrodesis, a fusion of the joint which reduces pain but limits joint motion.” 

The latest alternative to fusion, the Cartiva SCI procedure is used to remove damaged tissue from the surface of the first MTP joint before implanting a biomaterial device that serves as a new joint. The implanted device is classified as a hydrated polymer capable of withstanding repetitive motion and pressure in normal walking conditions. Additionally, Cartiva SCI procedures do not compromise the patient’s healthy tissue through screwing or plating a bone, as in a fusion procedure, or removal of healthy bone and cartilage, as in other MTP joint replacement procedures. 

Features and benefits of Cartiva SCI procedures include:

  • Elimination of joint pain and greater comfort.
  • Implant can be removed or replaced, and a fusion can still be performed later if needed.
  • Proprietary organic biomaterial implant offers alternative to tissue-based treatments that expose patients to viral transmission or inflammatory response.
  • Restoration and retention of full range of motion in the joint for natural movement.

“We are always looking for the most efficient and effective treatments and procedures to deliver optimal outcomes for our patients, so we are proud to be offering Cartiva SCI procedures. The components and technology are a true innovation,” says Dr. Goldberger. “Our main goal is to do whatever is best for our patients and get them back on their feet. This procedure offers a great option for patients to be pain-free with the freedom of walking and moving naturally.”

Drs. Goldberger and Epstein are both fellowship-trained orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons with extensive training and experience in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic conditions and injuries of the foot and ankle. Both surgeons are also board-certified in orthopedic surgery by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and see patients at the practice’s Cedar Knolls location. Additionally, Dr. Goldberger sees patients in Livingston, and Dr. Epstein is available in Bedminster and Sparta.

To learn more about Tri-County Orthopedics or to schedule an appointment, please call (973) 538-2334 or request an appointment online.