Hallux Rigidus

Have you noticed pain and stiffness in your big toe? If so, then you may be suffering from a condition known in podiatry as hallux rigidus. Over time, it may impact the way that you walk and could limit your mobility. If you live with hallux rigidus, give us a call at Advanced Foot Care of NJ, LLC. Dr. Anant Joshi will provide a thorough evaluation and specialized treatment plan to get you back to feeling your best. 


Understanding Hallux Rigidus


Hallux rigidus is a condition that is frequently confused with a bunion. Although both of the issues affect the same joint, they are different. Hallux rigidus is a Latin term. Hallux is a reference to the big toe, while rigidus translates to rigid. Arthritis is the underlying cause of this “rigid big toe.” 


Hallux rigidus is a form of degenerative arthritis that slowly deteriorates the cushion between the big toe and your foot. You may feel an increase in pain and stiffness as the gap decreases between the toe and first bones in the feet. Unfortunately, the big toe is involved in almost every type of movement that you make. Catching this issue in its early stages can help to avoid unnecessary pain or discomfort. 


Over time, hallux rigidus can also be accompanied by bone spurs that add a layer of discomfort to your condition. Dr. Anant Joshi will take this into account so that you can get the highest level of care. 


The Causes of Hallux Rigidus


There are many different causes of hallux rigidus. The condition generally stems from a change in the mechanics of the big toe joint. This change can be caused by a direct injury that alters your foot’s alignment or an adjustment in your body’s mechanics. Some people may have genetic factors that increase the risk of developing hallux rigidus. 


How to Identify Hallux Rigidus


Early detection means that more treatment options are available to you. Several early signs can let you know when it’s time to call a medical professional like Dr. Anant Joshi. Some of these signs and symptoms are: 


  • Discomfort or stiffness in the big toe joint 

  • Stiffness when the weather changes

  • Swelling or redness around the joint

  • Difficulty walking or running


As the condition progresses, many patients find that ordinary tasks become more difficult or impossible. You may notice that wearing certain shoes makes the pain unbearable. Some patients don’t want to walk because the pain is so severe. If this sounds like you, it’s time to call Dr. Anant Joshi to start a treatment plan that works for you. 


Your Treatment Options


In the earlier stages of hallux rigidus, you may be able to use non-invasive treatment options that can slow or stop arthritis progression. These treatment options include: 

  • Custom orthotics to support the foot without applying pressure

  • Medications that help to reduce inflammation or lubricate the joint

  • Physical therapy to help restore motion and increase strength


If your condition continues to deteriorate, Dr. Anant Joshi may suggest surgery. The approach for hallux rigidus surgery tends to be similar to other arthritis procedures. You’ll likely need to have x-rays taken of the feet and joints. These images can help your medical team determine the best approach for recovery. 


Schedule Your Appointment 


Stiffness, pain, and swelling can undoubtedly impact your quality of life. Dr. Anant Joshi is dedicated to ensuring that each patient receives the care that they need. Contact our office in Woodland Park, NJ, to schedule your initial consultation. We look forward to helping you heal.