Hallux Rigidus

OPA treats a wide variety of foot & ankle conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions.

What is Hallux Rigidus?

The most common site of arthritis in the foot is at the base of the big toe. This joint is called the metatarsophalangeal, or MTP joint. It’s important because it has to bend every time you take a step. In the MTP joint, as in any joint, the ends of the bones are covered by a smooth articular cartilage. If wear-and-tear or injury damage the articular cartilage, the raw bone ends can rub together. A bone spur, or overgrowth, may develop on the top of the bone. This overgrowth can prevent the toe from bending as much as it needs to when you walk. The result is a stiff big toe, or hallux rigidus.

Common Causes:

    • Develops in adults between the ages of 30 and 60 years
    • May result from an injury
    • Differences in foot anatomy

Symptoms of Hallux Rigidus may include:

    • Pain in the joint when you are active, especially as you push-off on the toes when you walk
    • Swelling around the joint
    • A bump, like a bunion or a callus, that develops on the top of the foot
    • Stiffness in the great toe and an inability to bend it up or down

When you arrive for your initial consultation, Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) foot specialist will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing a Hallux Rigidus, the OPA specialist will provide:

      • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
      • A physical examination
      • Multiple view x-rays

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options are commonly used to treat hallux rigidus. A treatment plan usually consists of multiple treatment options:

:

Orthotics
Take the pressure off the toe.
NSAIDs

Decrease inflammation and pain.

Ice Packs or Contrast Baths
Alternating cold and hot water

Surgery may be recommended to treat hallux rigidus that disrupt the integrity/anatomy of the toe. There are three types of surgery that the OPA foot specialist may perform depending on the condition severity:

    • Cheilectomy – This surgery is usually recommended when damage is mild or moderate.
    • Arthrodesis – Fusing the bones together (arthrodesis) is often recommended.
    • Arthroplasty – Older patients who place few functional demands on the feet may be candidates for joint replacement surgery.

Our Foot & Ankle Team

The OPA team includes Alaska’s leading foot & ankle specialists and offers some of the latest, most advanced treatment procedures available today.

OPA treats a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions.

All treatments work to restore pain-free spine function that allows patients to lead active, fulfilling lives, be it walking pain-free or getting back into athletic action.

Questions?

The OPA team includes Alaska’s leading specialists and offers some of the latest, most advanced treatment procedures available today.

OPA treats a wide variety of conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions, minimally invasive arthroscopies (repairs) and total joint replacement.