For many of us, the dreaded ache that can come with certain shoes, certain activities and certain positions has become a daily occurrence. What if we told you, it didn’t have to be? What if with every crouch, stoop, and stride you didn’t have to be uncomfortable? This pain in the “big toe joint” is medically called Hallux Limitus (limited motion) or Hallux Rigidus (little to no motion). The pain can be at times excruciating, and is actually a form of arthritis. As an avid runner I too suffer from this very pain! As the saying goes, a runner with big toe pain is called “a new cyclist or swimmer”. This however doesn’t have to be the case!
There are multiple underlying causes of Hallux Limitus/ Rigidus, all of which however lead to an end result which is pain. As the joint starts to lose its cartilage, which is the natural bumper between bones, bone on bone interaction takes place, which is down right painful! Because of the multiple causes of this problem, treatments can vary significantly. For mild cases injection therapy along with a custom made insert can alleviate the pressure from the joint, and therefore your pain. Unfortunately, conservative treatments like the injections/inserts/stiff shoes etc, don’t always work, but don’t fret, that doesn’t mean it just becomes something you have to live with.
Traditionally if a joint loses its cartilage, the go to surgical fix is to fuse the joint, which gets rid of the arthritis, the pain, and unfortunately the motion. For some, a joint fusion is an excellent choice, in particular those that want to stay as active as possible. The other option we have available to us is to replace the joint completely. Joint replacements are an excellent way to get rid of the arthritis and decrease the pain in the joint. Joint replacements are good options for those of us that are willing to give up running and high impact activities and instead take up swimming! They are also a great option if staying off your foot for 6-8 weeks is not an option. Most joint replacements will have you back in a regular shoe anywhere from 2-4 weeks! Joint replacements come in a variety of sizes and shapes which allows us to choose an implant which is best suited for a particular patient instead of using the one size fits all model!
Of course these options just scratch the surface of options that may be available to you, so if you have big toe pain, why suffer? Call for your same day consultation and find out the options that are available to you!