Hallux rigidus is a chronic condition in which the big toe joint becomes stiff and painful. The big toe joint is incredibly important, as it aids in walking, allowing propulsion or push off, and more. When you can’t push off the big toe joint properly, then your body compensates for it in harmful ways. Often, people may shorten their stride, transfer weight to the outside of the foot or lift the leg higher at the hip in order to walk.
Compensation for hallux rigidus is problematic because compensatory mechanisms involve alterations in your gait, which leads to other issues. For instance, shortened stride involves less hip motion and subsequent stiffness of the hip, low back, and sacroiliac joints. One may also quicken the pace of their walk to make up for the shortened stride, which can lead to fatigue. Further, the transference of weight to the outside of the foot can lead to ankle sprains, stress fractures, forefoot pain, and iliotibial band syndrome which is pain in the soft tissue over the hip joint.
Hallux rigidus can sometimes be caused by trauma, such as a fracture of the big toe joint that damages the cartilage. More often, it is a chronic condition that occurs due to years of poor joint alignment and mechanics. The big toe joint is designed to move downward and “grab” the ground as one pushes off. If the joint fails to do so or moves upward as one pushes off, a jamming occurs at the joint leading to degeneration, which causes hallux rigidus.
There are four stages of hallux rigidus that treatment methods are based on. These include:
Dr. Davis of South Texas Podiatry emphasizes that it is important to establish the stage of hallux rigidus first, so that the correct treatments can be instituted. If you or a loved one are in need of hallux rigidus repair, the foot pain specialists at South Texas Podiatry can help relieve your pain. Visit our office at , or call us at to get more information.
Hallux rigidus is a “cousin” of hallux valgus, which is a bunion deformity. Hallux valgus involves a partial dislocation or malposition of the big toe joint in which the joint is crooked, the big toe moving toward the second toe. The big toe joint is often straight in hallux rigidus, but may appear enlarged or swollen.
While you cannot prevent hallux rigidus from happening, you can slow it’s progress in a few ways. For instance, you can exercise to keep the joint mobile, rest it when you feel pain, and wear good-fitting, supportive shoes with enough space around your toes.
There are a number of factors that could cause hallux rigidus, such as:
If you are in need of a foot doctor near San Antonio, Texas, you have come to the right place. South Texas Podiatry offers treatment for hallux rigidus and countless other foot and ankle surgeries. Toe pain can hinder your life activities and your athletic performance. The expert team at South Texas Podiatry will help to relieve your pain so you can get back out there. Visit our office at , or call us at to schedule your appointment today!