Why Can’t I Bend My Big Toe?
Are you having considerably difficulty bending your large toe? A stiff big toe, or hallux rigidus, can be caused when degenerative arthritis settles into the big toe joint. This condition generally occurs in older folks, since the wear and tear of time on your feet can be largely responsible. Having flat feet, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis can make you more likely to develop a stiff big toe. You don’t really notice how important your big toes are for walking, climbing stairs, or just standing up until you have a problem bending them.
Diagnosis of hallux rigidus can be complicated since the symptoms can be similar to those caused by a bunion. Since the arthritis of hallux rigidus occurs gradually, the initial stages may only limit the movement of the toe and complete stiffness may not occur until later. This initial stage is called hallux limitus. Getting treatment as early as possible will help avoid further complications, so see your foot specialist for proper identification and treatment.
Once the diagnosis of hallux rigidus is confirmed, conservative treatments may include:
- Corticosteroid injection—This may restore normal movement and require several injections spread over time.
- Custom orthotic inserts and proper shoes—These devices are specially made and strategically placed in your footwear to redistribute the pressure and stress on the toes and improve the overall functioning of the foot. They are used in conjunction with properly fitted shoes that have stiffer soles to help relieve pressure on the big toe joint.
- Ibuprofen—Or other recommended anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve pain and inflammation.
For more expert advice on hallux rigidus treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!