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Hallux Rigidus

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What is Hallux Rigidus?

Hallux rigidus is a disorder of the joint that is located at the base of the big toe. It is characterized by swelling or inflammation around the joint and is a form of degenerative arthritis. The condition is referred to as hallux limitus at first, but becomes hallux rigidus in the later stage.

Hallux rigidus can run in families and can develop as a result of faulty functions, like fallen arches. Certain jobs and activities that put stress on the big toe can also result in hallux rigidus, in addition to an injury.


Some of the symptoms of hallux rigidus include:

  • Pain and stiffness that may be aggravated by certain activities or cold and damp weather
  • Difficulty wearing shoes
  • Trouble bending toe that increases over time
  • Dull pain in hips, knees, or back that develops due to walking differently
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Treatments for hallux rigidus can include:

  • Orthotics to improve foot function
  • Medications and injections to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Surgical treatment might be necessary to relieve pain and can consist of reconstructing the joint, removing arthritis damage and bone spurs, and shifting the position of bones in the big toe
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