Have you developed a sudden onset of pain in your great toe joint? This may be a sign of a condition called hallux rigidus. In this diagnosis you hear two words hallux which stands for great toe and rigid speaks for itself.

Unlike a bunion that is on the side of your big toe joint and may or may not be painful, in hallux rigidus the pain is on top of your great toe joint and begins to increase as you go up on your toes.

Progression of Hallux Rigidus

As this condition progresses, it goes from being occasional to more constant. The top of the joint may become bigger and pain may occur not only during a sports activity but while walking or going up and down stairs.

In the early stages the great toe seems to move okay but as it progress the joint becomes more and more rigid. The key is to have an evaluation and through the clinical exam along with radiographic x-rays, your podiatrist can determine how far along this condition has progressed.

Treatment for Hallux Rigidus

When we catch this condition early the problem can be controlled with custom foot supports that we call orthotics. It's essential to catch this problem early to stop the symptoms before the joint becomes rigid.

So if you have pain in your great toe joint and its not resolved by simple rest and slowing down on some of your athletic activities. And it becomes a problem for your daily walking and gets to the point where you really don't want to pursue the activities that you enjoy the most, come in and have an evaluation. Let's reduce this condition, control the symptoms and prevent the need for surgery.

Learn more about hallux rigidus here!

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.