Hallux Rigidus is a problem in when the motion in the big toe or hallux joint of the foot is rigid and is typically associated with osteoarthritis. The big toe joint of the feet are really quite an important joint in the body as it must flex so the leg can progress over the foot when walking. If anything hinders the motion at that joint, then continuing to move forward will likely be a lot more difficult and force is going to be placed on other joints that have to bend more as that joint just isn't flexing properly. This may cause pain in the great toe joint and other joints. It also leads to an unusual wear pattern on the footwear. The main cause of hallux rigidus is usually a previous injury to the joint. After a while this sets up a process of abnormal use which leads to more damage and osteoarthritis to the joint. Subsequently the limited motion of the joint is even further limited and the joint will become rigid with no movement possible.
The best way to treat a hallux rigidus is appropriate management of the original injury with excellent rehabilitation and the use of exercises in order to avoid or reduce the developments of the osteoarthritis. When the joint is painful, then medications and injection therapy into the joint may be used for the symptoms. Using a stiffer sole footwear is frequently beneficial as this decreases the demand on the joint to bend. Some footwear may also have a rocker added to them, so that you can pivot over the rocker and don't need to use the joint as much. If these conservative methods are not helpful, then the alternative is surgical. There are several alternatives here. The easiest, if indicated, is to basically cut off some bone of the top of the joint to permit the joint to flex more. If that is not feasible, then the joint may be surgically fused to stop it bending. This kind of fusion deals with the pain from the osteoarthritis since the joint cannot bend.