Do you have pain in your big toe? If your toe hurts by simply trying to point it up towards the sky (dorsiflexion) then you may have something called, Hallux Rigidus. This ‘unmoveable’ big toe is one of the most common forms of arthritis of the foot. Hallux Rigidus occurs as a result of wear-and-tear injuries, which wears down the articular cartilage. This can cause the bone to start rubbing on bone. If this condition is not caught quick enough a bone spur, or overgrowth of bone, may develop on the top of the bone. This overgrowth can prevent the toe from bending as much as it needs to when you walk. As you can imagine this results in very difficult and painful walking. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, come see us at Frederick Foot and Ankle Specialists!
So who is more prone to getting Hallux Rigidus? Really, anyone with bad biomechanics or abnormalities of the foot can get it. But one of the main causes is osteoarthritis. The joint space is narrowing during this condition exacerbates hallux rigidus. People with flat feet or excessive rolling in of the foot/ankle are also highly susceptible to developing hallux rigidus. But what we really have to look out for is the second most common cause of this condition, which is overuse. Workers that have to stoop or squat naturally add more stress to their big toe joint. Hallux Rigidus can be formed from such activity or as simple as stubbing your toe.
An example of overuse of that big toe joint is basketball players. College super-athletes, such as, University of Washington Isaiah Thomas even experiences hallux rigidus. He elected to undergo surgery after his basketball season in order to alleviate and cure his chronic joint pain.
Our offices at Frederick and Urbana, MD will assist you in treating your hallux rigidus condition. If caught at a less severe stage we can provide accommodations such as shoe modifications, orthotic prescriptions, medication, corticosteroid injections or physical therapy. Dr. Yanes, Dr. Steinberg, and Dr. Ho will exhaust nearly all of the conservative treatments available before suggesting any surgery. Surgery may be needed to clean up the joint, to restore normal alignment and function of the joint or to fuse the joint to eliminate any further pain.
We want you at your best and want you to walk pain-free so stop by if you are feeling any of the symptoms! As always check your feet daily and stop by! It can help avoid future health problems!