Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Hallux Rigidus Treatment?
Hallux rigidus is a condition that causes severe pain and rigidity in the big toe and foot, and can interfere with everyday life. For a good prognosis, it is important that this condition is diagnosed correctly and early when symptoms first begin. At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our podiatrists have access to the latest diagnostic tools in order to provide the best treatment options to get you back on your feet!
Hallux Rigidus refers to pain and restricted range of motion in the first metatarso-phalangeal joint, commonly known as the base of the big toe. With this condition, pain and stiffness tend to worsen over time and patients may develop a so-called “frozen joint” – where it is difficult for the patient to walk or stand. Patients often initially suffer from hallux limitus, an uncomfortable and less serious condition where some joint mobility is retained. However, if left untreated hallux limitus can progress to hallux rigidus.
Surgery for Hallux Rigidus
If your joint is already rigid and painful enough to cause discomfort when walking, your podiatrist may have no other recourse than surgery. Here are some surgical options for hallux rigidus:
Bone spur removal »
Joint replacement »
Joint fusion »
Drugs for Hallux Rigidus
If detected and treated in time, a patient with hallux limitus may see progression to hallux rigidus. Most of the time, if the joint is still flexible, there are two methods that specialists can try before suggesting surgery:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Corticosteroid injections can also reduce inflammation and pain.
Symptoms of Hallux Rigidus
- Pain in the big toe when walking, standing or even lying down.
- Increased pain with certain activities (running, standing on toes, wearing high heels).
- Increased pain in damp weather.
- A bone spur at the joint that may grow in time and make footwear uncomfortable.
- Swelling and inflammation around the joint.
- Pain in the hips or lower back, triggered by changing the gait to avoid toe pain.
Diagnosis of Hallux Rigidus
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, it is time to see a podiatrist. It may still be possible to alleviate your symptoms without resorting to surgery. To determine the severity of your condition, your doctor will check your symptoms, examine your feet and request additional imaging tests like X-rays to help determine the presence and possible effects of arthritis in the joints.
Risk Factors for Hallux Rigidus
There are certain risk factors that may cause or enhance the presence of hallux rigidus:
- Uncomfortable footwear (high heels, narrow toe boxes, unnatural shapes, too small sizes).
- Unnatural running or walking gait (like pronation).
- Mechanical injuries.
- Very long big toe.
- Age and the ensuing degeneration and “wear-and-tear” factor.
- High arches.
- Squatting for long periods.
Causes of Hallux Rigidus
Most often, hallux rigidus is caused by an inherent problem in the foot. The risk factors above can exemplify some such problems, from high arches and bad shoes to stubbing your toe.
Another cause of hallux rigidus is rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
The best first line of defense, as with many foot problems, is changing your shoes in one of two ways:
|Wear a larger size||
Choose shoes with wide toe boxes, preferably a half size larger, to allow more space for your big toe.
|Wear orthotic devices||
Your podiatrist can recommend custom orthotic devices that will protect the foot and correct the shape.
Are you experiencing symptoms associated with hallux rigidus? The highly skilled doctors and surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital can answer questions, provide information, and suggest treatment options based on your specific medical condition.