Medical City Dallas

Baylor, Scott & White Plano


Hallux Limitus | Toe Pain and Limited Movement

by Dr. David R. Northcutt
Dr. David Northcutt is a podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Dallas Podiatry Works in TX.

“Hi, my name is Dr. David Northcutt. I’m going to talk a little bit today about Hallux Limitus, or Hallux Rigidus. Hallux refers to the first toe, Limitus or Rigidus refers to limited motion or the rigidity of the first toe joint. This condition can lead to loss of cartilage, also known as arthritis.

This develops due to structural deformities of the foot, as well as biomechanics problems. Over time, the big toe joint moves less and less which causes more and more pain. This problem is exacerbated by certain types of shoes and activities. Running, squatting, and wearing high heels often times will cause more pain in the joint. The higher the heel of the shoe, the more stress is placed on the first toe joint, which can lead to more pain.

The way that this is treated is with anti-inflammatories, sometimes orthotics can be used, also injections can be helpful. Shoe modifications are also one of the best methods for reducing pain. When non-surgical methods do not work, surgery sometimes is indicated. That does sometimes include just shaving the bones off the top or the bump off the top of the joint. It also can include fusing the first toe or putting in a fake joint to reduce the pain.

The best time to treat this is when pain first starts. It’s a lot easier to treat the joint early rather than wait until surgery would be indicted.

These are bone spurs that will form and will cause pain, there is also decrease in joint space, which also causes pain.

If you have any questions or pain in the area of your first toe joint, please feel free to give us a call. We would be honored to be a part of your healthcare team!”

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