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Hallux Rigidus

How to Recognize and Find Relief From This Painful Condition

Hallux rigidus, which translates to “stiff big toe,” is a condition that can limit mobility and cause significant pain. The condition occurs when degenerative arthritis affects the joint at the base of the big toe, which is a joint that normally bends every time that a step is taken. The resulting stiffness can make walking difficult and painful, but fortunately, miVIP offers many solutions to this problem.

In some cases, early noninvasive treatments may help stabilize the condition while relieving pain. Sometimes, though, bone spurs develop at the point of irritation, and when this is the case, foot and ankle surgery may be necessary. At miVIP, our team can determine how severe your condition is and what means of treatment will be most effective.

Common Causes of Hallux Rigidus

Hallux rigidus can have various causes, and experts still do not know why it affects some people and not others. Genetic factors such as the foot anatomy tend to be the most common cause, with nearly 80 percent of cases reporting the condition in their family medical history. Other potential causes include:

  • Cartilage damage, whether due to injury or arthritis
  • Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Overuse of the toe joint, which is most often seen in athletes and laborers

Signs and Symptoms

The most typical hallux rigidus symptoms are:

  • Inflammation around the joint
  • Inability to bend the big toe
  • Pain, especially during physical activity
  • Development of a callus or bunion on top of the joint
  • Increased pain or stiffness during cold or damp weather

Available Treatments

Typically, podiatrists recommend that patients start with less invasive treatments and progress to foot and ankle surgery if other treatments don't relieve hallux rigidus symptoms. Hallux rigidus treatment options include:

  • Lifestyle changes. Wearing more spacious shoes and pads that support the toe can prevent symptoms from worsening. Avoiding high-impact physical activities will have the same effect.
  • Pain management. Taking anti-inflammatory medications and icing the joint can offer short-term pain relief.
  • Foot and ankle surgery. Cheilectomy can remove any bone spurs that have developed at the toe joint, while debridement can remove the damaged bone and cartilage that are causing the stiffness and pain.

If non-invasive measures do not alleviate hallux rigidus symptoms, the experts at miVIP can evaluate which minimally invasive surgery will be most effective at remedying your condition.

Overall Prognosis

Hallux rigidus symptoms typically become worse over time, since the condition is progressive. This means that if you believe you may have hallux rigidus, it is in your best interests to visit a specialist and start learning about your treatment options early on. If the condition is caught before bone spurs develop, treatment will be considerably less complicated. However, if the condition is caught late, the surgeons at miVIP are prepared to treat even severe cases.

Call miVIP Today

If you need more information on foot and ankle surgery or would like to schedule a consultation to learn about hallux rigidus treatment options, please call miVIP Surgery Centers today at 877-956-2263.

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