Hallux Limitus Rigidus, or Great Toe Arthritis

Footech President

Jacques Martin, D.S.S., B.Sc., C.Ped.
President, Footech Inc., Certified Pedorthist

The great toe undergoes a tremendous amount of stress while walking. When people who over-pronate walk, the toe is often unable to bend normally, causing the toe to jam along the top of the joint, which can eventually lead to cartilage damage. Great Toe arthritis is a relatively common foot disorder that can respond well to both conservative and more aggressive treatments. The condition is a type of arthritis in which the joint surfaces wear away and develop bone spurs or osteophytes that limit motion. The great toe joint is required to bend significantly with every step that is taken.

Lifestyle Changes and Treatment Options

It is important to closely examine lifestyles when considering treatment procedures. Severe cases of Great Toe arthritis may require fusion or joint replacement. However, many people prefer to maintain joint mobility in their feet for as long as possible. Activities such as dancing can become difficult when fusion surgeries are opted for.

Orthotics and Shoe Options

Individuals who wish to stave off surgery may wish to invest in stiff-soled rocker bottom shoes that limit forefoot motion. Joint lubrication and can also be used to lessen pain. Painful great toes can also be caused by bunions, an enlargement of the toe joint.
Correctly prescribed foot orthotics can help to eliminate pain and reduce the damage associated with wear and tear on the toe joint. Stiff orthotics can be used with great success to limit the motion of the great toe and to stiffen the soles of shoes. Custom orthotics are designed to reduce or eliminate jamming against the joint and improve joint function. Your orthotics provider may also recommend shoes that help to lessen the pain associated with this condition.

Learn more ... Here's a few articles from our growing knowledgebase