Abstract Background The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the long-term results of a Swanson type silicone prosthesis used for the first metatarsophalangeal (FMTP) joint replacement. It compares implants with and without the use of grommets. Methods Fifty-nine FMTP joints were replaced. The average follow-up period was 9 years. Subjective and clinical findings were scored according to the AOFAS-HMI (American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society-Hallux Metatarsophalangeal-Interphalangeal) score. X-ray examination was carried out by evaluation of the presence of reactive bone areas around the implant. Results Ninety-five percent of patients had relief of pain. Clinical findings showed a reasonable function (range of motion >30°) in 77% of the FMTP joints. A trend for decrease in radiolucency and lytic bone was seen in areas around the implant with the use of grommets. Conclusion The prosthesis shows good results concerning pain relief and a reasonable to good function (>30° range of motion) of the FMTP joint in most patients. Reactive bone areas around the implant decreased by the use of grommets.