Hallux Rigidus or stiff big toe usually occurs in adults between the ages of 30 and
60. The exact cause of what is essentially arthritis of the big toe is unknown. Our Atlanta
podiatrist has experience in treating all conditions of the foot and ankle. If you have big toe pain
give us a call immediately. The condition is easier to treat early, before bone spurs develop.
- Walking is often painful or difficult with Hallux Rigidus. That’s because the condition
interferes with up and down movement of the toe. People suffering with arthritis in the
big toe may try to offset the pain by walking on the outside of the foot.
- Swelling in the big toe and stiffness in the joint.
- In some cases a bump may develop on the top of the joint.
- Hallux Rigidus is more common in women.
Often a physical exam is all that is required to diagnose Hallux Rigidus. Our Atlanta podiatrist
will manipulate your big toe to determine the range of motion possible before pain is
experienced. We will also visually examine your foot for bone spurs. In some cases, imaging
may be used to determine the extent of degeneration in the joint as well as the location of bone
Our Atlanta podiatrist can help
Again, Hallux Rigidus is best treated early so it is important to schedule an appointment as soon
as you begin to experience toe pain with walking or other kinds of activity. Once we diagnose
the condition we can work with you to determine the best individualized treatment option. Some
- Over the counter medications such as Aleve can reduce swelling and pain. You may also
opt for ice packs.
- Contrast foot soaking can also bring temporary relief. Move the affected foot between a
bucket of hot and cold water. Keep your foot in each bucket for about 30 seconds ending
with the bucket of cold water. Continue for three to five minutes.
These strategies bring temporary relief but will not remedy the problem. Surgical options
- Cheilectomy – this procedure is advised for early stage Hallux Rigidus. Our Atlanta
podiatrist will carefully shave the bone spur above your metatarsal. This procedure has
the advantage of saving your joint and preserving the most range of motion. You can
expect long-term pain relief after a relatively brief recovery period.
- Arthrodesis – this procedure is indicated in more advanced conditions of Hallux Rigidus.
Our Atlanta podiatrist will bring relief by fusing the bones together. Although you will
not be able to move the big toe post-surgery you can expect permanent pain relief after an
extended recovery period.
- Arthroplasty – this procedure calls for joint replacement. Although range of motion is
preserved this option is usually reserved for people with few functional demands of their
feet. Movement of the big toe is preserved but results are not as reliable as with
Hallux Rigidus is a common problem of the foot, but it is treatable. During your consultation be
sure to share all of your concerns as well as goals for post-surgery functionality with our Atlanta
podiatrist. We want to work with you to get as close to those goals as possible. Let us use our
experience to relieve your big toe pain and get you back on your feet. Call us today for an