Hallux rigidus is the condition that causes stiffness and reduced range of motion of the big toe joint. Patients with this condition will have difficulty trying to bend the big toe and often experience pain at the big toe joint when walking or doing physical activity.
Theoretically, we need a minimum of 65 degrees of extension (bending upwards) of the big toe for normal gait patterns. Restriction at the big toe joint affects our propulsion significantly and causes problems to other parts of the foot.
Hallux rigidus is a degenerative condition. The restriction of movement is caused by the “wear and tear” of the cartilage within the big toe joint. This can either be an age-related degeneration or caused by repetitive stress or trauma to the big toe joint. Pain typically occurs due to impingement of bones in the big toe joint when the big toe is forcefully bent upwards when we walk or run.
Signs and symptoms of hallux rigidus include:
The treatment of hallux rigidus usually aims at protecting the big toe joint by reducing the need for it to bend when we walk or run.
Treatment options for hallux rigidus include: