Are you having pain and stiffness in your great toe joint when active or pushing off with your toe? This is a condition called hallux limitus/hallux rigidus. The great toe joint (also known as your first metatarsophalangeal joint) is limited in range of motion, meaning it is difficult to bend up or down. You may also notice some swelling or a large bump on the top of the joint, which are known as a dorsal spur, indicating arthritis of the great toe joint.
Causes of hallux rigidus include biomechanical and structural abnormalities of the foot. This condition is more common with flatfoot conditions, it can be from overuse of the joint depending on your daily activity or line of work, trauma or it can even be hereditary.
Conservative treatment includes NSAIDs, corticosteroid injections, stiff soled shoes custom orthotics with a device called a mortons extension, this can control range of motion of the great toe joint and decrease level of pain and decrease worsening of damage to the joint. Sometimes physical therapy can be helpful.
When all conservative measures exhausted and this is inhibiting your daily activity, we then consider surgery.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing hallux rigidus please call Cutting Edge Foot and Ankle Clinic at 615-866-9639. We would be happy to help you get back on your feet!