Hallux Rigidus and Big Toe Impingement

A common form of painful bunions and stiffness is actually arthritis of the big toe: Hallux Rigidus. This typically affects keen athletes and runners or people who have a manual work lifestyle (people spending time on their hands and knees or bending that toe joint a lot!). The joint forms extra bone around the top, which pinches when the big toe joint is flexed like when you push off to run or lean onto your foot forwards. This is called big toe impingement.

If you have this, we can help with orthotics, injections and athlete-specific elite footwear.

If these measures do not work, we may have to consider surgery. The option here is called a cheilectomy. This is a day case procedure and basically involves removing the extra bits of bone to free up the joint space for better movement. The risks are very similar to the bunion operation above but recovery is quicker because no bone is broken. After two or three weeks the wound has healed and early movement of the joint is encouraged.

Surrey Orthopaedic Clinic Hallux Rigidus and Big Toe Specialists: