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Dallas Podiatrists: What is Arthritis of the Big Toe Joint?

What is Hallux Limitus?
Hallux Limitus occurs when there is stiffness in the big toe joint. Although you may not notice anything different during normal standing and walking, you can still suffer from Hallux Limitus. Some motion can be limited when weight is applied. If you do not have any motion in your big toe, you may be suffering from Hallux Rigidus.

What is the Diagnosis for Hallux Limitus?
If the first metatarsal bone located behind the big toe joint has an abnormal alignment of the long bone then Hallux Limitus can occur.  This causes the first metatarsal bone to be elevated and not flush with the other bones. When this happens, the big toe joint can’t move smoothly, jamming the joint. When the joint is jammed, pain can occur at the bottom of the big toe where central callus may develop. Due to the big toe not being able to move upward enough, it gets jammed into the ground when you walk.

If this problem is not treated, bone spurs may occur on the top of the big toe joint because of the jamming. This bone spur will become painful and irritated because your shoe will cause pressure on the bump. Over time, the big toe joint will become stiff and hard to move. Complete destruction of the joint will occur if left untreated.

How Do You Treat Hallux Limitus?
The first treatment may consist of reducing the pain by cortisone injections and/or functional orthotics. Although these symptoms may seem to disappear because the pain is gone, the underlying problems are still there if not treated properly. Functional orthotics are designed to treat the condition rather than the pain. The orthotics will fit into your shoes and fix the functional motion of your big toe joint.

Depending on the current condition of your joint degeneration, surgery may be the next step in removing the bone spurs around the joint so that you can get back to the proper motion of the toe. After surgery, the use of functional orthotics will improve the joint function.

Metroplex Foot and Ankle is a progressive group of physicians and surgeons who are committed to helping our patients to achieve their full wellness potential. Contact our Dallas Podiatrist, Garland Podiatrist, or Richardson Podiatrist offices to schedule an appointment today.

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