Hallux Rigidus

Hallux rigidus is a type of degenerative arthritis that impacts the base of the big toe. Sometimes referred to as “turf toe” or “stiff big toe,” this condition forms in the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP joint) when cartilage wears away and bone rubs against bone. The toe will stiffen over time, making it hard to stand and walk.


Researchers are still unsure what causes arthritis, including hallux rigidus. Overuse, foot injuries, and genetics are the primary factors associated with this condition.


Pain and stiffness in the big toe are the most common symptoms of hallux rigidus. It usually develops in people between the ages of 30 to 60. The toe’s range of motion may decrease over time, making it difficult to walk or even stand. A bump or callus may also develop on the top of the foot behind the toe.


Physicians can diagnose hallux rigidus by assessing symptoms and testing the toe’s range of motion. X-rays may also be used to show abnormalities in the toe or the development of bone spurs.


Hallux rigidus may be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, choosing appropriate shoes, and reducing activities that require toe movement, such as jogging. If severe cases, surgery may be required.

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