Degenerative Joint Disease
Osteoarthritis or Hallux Rigidus (stiff toe) – The most common site of arthritis in the foot is at the base of the big toe or metatarsophalangeal (or MTP) joint and as a result, walking can become painful and difficult. Hallux rigidus usually develops in adults aged between 30 and 60 and may result from an injury to the toe or degenerative change in the foot anatomy that increases stress on the joint. There is often pain and motion limitation which is aggravated by exercise levels and footwear.
Management of hallux rigidus can be conservative or surgical. Conservative methods include orthotics, physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory medication. Cortisone injections can provide short term relief. Surgery is recommended when damage is mild or moderate and it involved removing bone spurs as well as a portion of the foot bone so that the toe has more room to bend. This is called a cheilectomy. When symptoms are severe, arthrodesis in which the bones are fused and the joint is fixed permanently.