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Hallux Limitus/Rigidus Treatment

Hallux limitus/rigidus is a condition that affects the big toe joint, causing pain and stiffness. This condition is also known as osteoarthritis of the big toe joint. Hallux limitus refers to a limited range of motion in the big toe joint, while hallux rigidus refers to complete immobility of the joint.


The main cause of hallux limitus/rigidus is wear and tear of the joint over time. This can be due to repetitive stress, such as with sports that involve running or jumping, or from a previous injury to the joint. Genetics may also play a role in the development of this condition.


The most common symptom of hallux limitus/rigidus is a pain in the big toe joint, which may be worse with activity or with certain types of footwear. Stiffness in the joint can also be present, making it difficult to move the toe up and down. In more severe cases, a bony bump may form on top of the joint, known as a bone spur.


To diagnose hallux limitus/rigidus, a podiatrist will perform a physical exam of the foot and may order X-rays to evaluate the joint. The X-rays can show signs of joint damage, such as bone spurs or narrowing of the joint space.


Treatment for hallux limitus/rigidus depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, conservative treatment may be recommended, such as wearing wider shoes with a lower heel or using orthotics to help redistribute pressure on the joint. Physical therapy exercises can also help improve range of motion and reduce pain.

For more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. A podiatrist may recommend a procedure to remove the bone spurs or to fuse the joint to prevent further damage. In some cases, joint replacement surgery may also be an option.

At Fall Creek Foot & Ankle, we understand the pain and discomfort caused by hallux limitus/rigidus. Our podiatrists have the expertise and experience to provide the best treatment options for each individual patient. If you are experiencing pain or stiffness in your big toe joint, schedule an appointment with us to discuss your treatment options.

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