Hallux Rigidus

What Is Hallux Rigidus? “Hallux” refers to the big toe, while “rigidus” indicates that the toe is rigid and cannot move. Hallux rigidus is actually a form of degenerative arthritis (a wearing out of the cartilage within the joint that occurs in the foot and other parts of the body).

Hallux Rigidus Symptoms

  • Pain in the joint when you are active
  • Swelling around the joint
  • A bump, like a bunion or callus, that develops on the top of the foot
  • Stiffness in the great toe and an inability to bend it up or down

Hallux Rigidus Treatment

None Surgical

  • Shoe modifications. Shoes that have a large toe box should be worn, because they put less pressure on your toe.
  • Stiff or rocker–bottom soles may also be recommended. Most likely, you’ll have to stop wearing high heels.
    Orthotic devices. Custom orthotic devices may improve the function of your foot.
  • Medications. Nonsteroidal anti–inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be prescribed to help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Injection therapy. Injections of corticosteroids in small amounts are sometimes given in the affected toe to help reduce the inflammation and pain.


  • Some procedures reconstruct and “clean up” the joint. The surgeon removes the arthritic damage from the joint as well as any accompanying bone spurs, and then alters the position of one or more bones in the big toe. These procedures are designed to preserve and restore normal alignment and function of the joint as well as reduce or eliminate pain.
  • More aggressive procedures are used when the joint cannot be preserved. These may involve fusing the joint, or removing part or all of the joint and, in some cases, replacing it with an implant, such as is done for the hip or knee. These procedures eliminate painful motion in the joint and provide a stable foot.


  • Surgery: This is rarely For severe problems that do not respond to other treatments.

Manalapan, New Jersey Foot and Ankle is comprised of multidisciplinary podiatric physicians in Manalapan, New Jersey.

hallux rigidus is a progressive condition, the toe’s motion decreases as time goes on. In its earlier stage, motion of the big toe is only somewhat limited — at that point, the condition is called “hallux limitus.” But as the problem advances, the toe’s range of motion gradually decreases until it potentially reaches the end stage of “rigidus” — where the big toe becomes stiff, or what is sometimes called a “frozen joint.” Other problems are also likely to occur as the disorder progresses.
New Jersey Foot and Ankle in Manalapan, is available to serve all your foot conditions and ankle health care needs. We treat arthritis, sports injuries, foot deformities, ankle and foot trauma, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and nail diseases in the Manalapan, New Jersey area.

Our staff is available to assist you with questions and concerns. To learn more about a diagnosis, treatment, or procedure call and speak to a health information specialist to schedule an appointment with one of our Podiatrists today.

Common Foot & Ankle Conditions Treated at Manalapan, New Jersey Foot and Ankle

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