What is Hallux Rigidus?
Hallux Rigidus is a Latin term meaning ‘rigid toe,’ It is a degenerative condition in which wear and tear on the bone and connective tissues of the joint cause the bone to build-up extra hard material as protection. This build up can have the opposite effect that results in impinging space, limiting movement and stiffening of the big toe – specifically the MTP joint at the base of the big toe. This affliction is accompanied by varying degrees of swelling and pain, sometimes even prior to the stiffening.
Hallux Rigidus can be caused by:
- Structural problems, such as flat feet or fallen arches
- A recurring strain from running, stooping or squatting
- A traumatic event, such as a severe stubbing of the toe.
Inflammation of the joint and build up of hard tissue or spurs occur as the body attempts to protect the joint. This typically evolves into osteoarthritis.
What are the consequences?
If you have Hallux Rigidus, you are most likely suffering from one or more of the following:
- Inability to comfortably bend the toe up or down
- Pain when you push off with your toes
- Swelling around the joint
- A bump forming at the top of the joint