Hallux Rigidus

What is hallux rigidus?

Hallux rigidus is a problem with their being no motion available at the big toe joint. We need that joint to pivot forward over, so if that joint does not move there is going to be a problem with walking. The restriction in motion will put strains on some of the other joints and alter the way that you walk. This can cause problems in other areas. The most common cause of hallux rigidus is osteoarthritis in the joint or some trauma that has damaged the joint. A hallux limitus is when the range of motion is restricted but the joint is not rigid. Both generally have a lump above the big toe joint.

How to treat hallux rigidus?

Once you have developed hallux rigidus there is very little that you can actually do. There is no way to restore the range of motion to the joint. Continuing to walk on it may be causing symptoms in other joints so a restriction in activity may be warranted. It is possible to try a toning shoe that has a rocker on the bottom on the bottom and this will make walking easier. Stretching and mobilization exercises may be helpful if there is some pain in the joint and motion is still possible.

When to see the doctor?

There are two options available to manage hallux rigidus

  1. A rocker may be placed on the outside of the shoe to make walking easier
  2. A spacer can be surgically placed in the joint to increase the range of motion

For a hallux limitus, there are come another surgical options that can be used to increase the range of motion and injection theapry can be used to help if the joint is painful.

Further Information:
Podiatry TV

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