If your big toe becomes stiff, painful, or difficult to move, you may be suffering from hallux rigidus. Left untreated, hallux rigidus can affect your balance and mobility. Eddie Davis, DPM, at South Texas Podiatrist in San Antonio, Texas, regularly works with patients to treat and relieve the symptoms of hallux rigidus. Request your appointment today by calling the office or by clicking the online booking tool.
Hallux rigidus is a common podiatric problem that causes one or both of your big toes to become stiff, rigid, and generally painful. Your big toe joint helps you walk and run. If you’re unable to push off of your big toe without pain, you may shorten your stride, transfer weight to the outside of your foot, or put undue pressure on your hip. Over time, compensating for your toe pain can increase your risk of other, more serious health problems.
Hallux rigidus can develop for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it’s the result of a traumatic event such as a sports-related injury or toe fracture. Other times, it develops as a result of poor alignment and walking mechanics. Over the years, poor alignment or walking mechanics increase your risk of wear-and-tear damage, and in turn, joint degeneration and pain.
Podiatrists like Dr. Davis recognize four different stages of hallux rigidus:
During the earliest stage of hallux rigidus, your toe becomes irritated and experiences a mild loss of motion. If Dr. Davis catches hallux rigidus in stage 1, he might recommend treatment with custom orthotics to reposition your first metatarsal joint.
In stage 2 of hallux rigidus, you lose more motion and your affected toe becomes noticeably swollen. During this stage, it’s also common for bone spurs to develop. Treatment for stage 2 hallux rigidus usually includes prescription orthotics or cheilectomy. During cheilectomy, Dr. Davis shaves some of the bone off of your big toe, increasing your range of motion and easing pain.
If you develop stage 3 hallux rigidus, Dr. Davis might recommend wearing a distal rocker shoe or investing in podiatric surgery. Surgical treatment for stage 3 hallux rigidus involves Dr. Davis repositioning the cartilage in your big toe or placing a joint implant. A joint implant can help reestablish motion in your affected toe joint.
If you have stage 4 or “end-stage” hallux rigidus, it means you’ve lost almost all joint movement in your affected toe. The only way to address this type of hallux rigidus is through surgery. Depending on your medical history and symptoms, Dr. Davis might recommend a fusion of your first MTP joint or a total implant arthroplasty.
If one or both of your big toes are stiff, swollen, or unable to move comfortably, it’s time to make an appointment at South Texas Podiatrist –– call the office or click the online booking tool today, before your condition gets worse.