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Hallux rigidus surgery

Hallux rigidus surgery

Are you experiencing pain while walking, limited mobility, or problems rolling from heel to toe? If every step is agony, a degenerative disorder, like arthritis in the big toe joint, may be the cause. A tell-tale sign of arthritis is stiffness, so if you have it in your toes it can make your big toe stiff and cause pain in your foot.

Our specialists at Schoen Clinic are highly experienced in treating all aspects of foot complaints. With an emphasis on accurate diagnosis, our experts will diagnose the precise condition and offer the appropriate treatment. We will provide you with the best possible outcome, ensuring you get exactly the right treatment to improve your quality of life.

Toe arthritis – what is it?

Arthritis of the big toe joint (Hallux Rigidus) occurs due to joint degeneration. This leads to bony outgrowths, often on top of the joint, as well as a narrowing of the joint space. The first sign of toe arthritis is often pain in the joint, combined with reduced mobility.

Early symptoms of hallux rigidus: what to watch out for

A stiff toe severely limits movement, mainly in the instep direction. Bony outgrowths will cause you pain, particularly while wearing closed shoes. Swelling or reddening may occur. Those affected often also try to go easy on their big toe joint without realising, and roll their foot over the outstep. But your foot isn’t built for this type of strain, and reacts with pain.

Early symptoms include:

  • Stiffness
  • Pain in the big toe during movement
  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Difficulty carrying out strenuous activities, like squatting or running

Further symptoms can develop as the condition deteriorates

  • Pain at all times, even during rest
  • Pain in other areas, like the knees, hips or back (due to a change in how you walk)
  • Shoes become difficult to wear
  • Limping

A stiff toe severely limits movement, mainly in the instep direction. Bony overgrowths will cause you pain, particularly while wearing closed shoes and swelling or reddening may occur. Those affected often also try to go easy on their big toe joint without realising, and roll their foot over the outstep. However, your foot is not built for this type of strain and pain can result.

Causes: how does hallux rigidus occur?

Typically, joint degeneration is a disorder that occurs in the later stages of life but young people can also be affected, for example, after injuries. Studies have also shown that arthritis can be inherited, with many patients reporting their mother or father experiencing similar changes.

Diagnosis: how we determine toe arthritis

As with many conditions, the earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat. To achieve an accurate diagnosis, our specialists thoroughly examine your joint. This also involves X-raying your foot.

X-ray images clearly demonstrate hallux rigidus

Taking X-ray images of your foot under stress assists in obtaining an accurate diagnosis. In these X-ray images, we can see how much your joint space has narrowed and bony overgrowths can also be observed easily. If we suspect any rheumatic disorders or gout based on these X-ray images, we also conduct a blood test.

Clinical examination of hallux rigidus

During the examination, a bony upward bulging of the joint will be observed. This is often reddened due to it rubbing against the shoe. Sometimes, an inflammatory bursa may have formed as well. In the early stages, only forceful movements of your toes in the instep direction will be painful and in later stages, you will feel pain with all movements.