Hallux rigidus is a form of degenerative arthritis and affects the joint at the base of the big toe. When the condition first appears, it is called hallux limitus. Hallux rigidus is the condition in its later stage. Heredity, faulty foot mechanics, and jobs and activities that place stress on the big foot can all contribute to hallux rigidus.
Symptoms: The main symptoms of hallux rigidus are swelling and inflammation around the affected joint. Pain and stiffness can also occur, and can be aggravated by cold and damp weather or by performing certain activities. You might also notice that it is difficult to wear shoes and that it is hard to bend your toe. Sometimes, a dull pain in our back, knees, or hips can develop due to having to walk differently.
Non-Surgical Treatment: Orthotics can be used to improve foot function in cases of faulty foot mechanics. Injections and medications can also be used to reduce inflammation and pain.
Surgery: If pain is not relieved through non-surgical methods, surgery can be performed to reconstruct the joint. Arthritic damage and bone spurs may be removed, and the bones in the big toe can also be shifted.