Rigid Big Toe (Hallux Rigidus)

A possible complication of a Bunion is the so called Rigid Big Toe. There is already a type of arthrosis, noticeable by the thickening of soft tissues at the joint of the big toe, causing great pain with any rolling motion while walking. People affected by this disease unconsciously adapt their gait pattern by distributing the pressure onto the adjacent smaller toes, resulting in the pain spreading even up to the knee. That is why there is often confusion about the pain’s exact origin. Don’t hesitate to request medical consultation, only a surgical correction is able to prevent the pain and pressure from spreading to the ankle and knee joints.


If the surgery takes place in an early stage of the disease pattern, a specialist is able to use techniques like removing brittle bone sections or shortening the metatarsal bone to decelerate or even stop an arthrosis. Long-term results are unrestricted movement, less pain and a normalized gait pattern. An important upside of said surgery is a fast and uncomplicated procedure so the foot will recover quickly.


The process changes in case of an advanced arthrosis because the cartilages between the bones are badly damaged already. Stiffening the base joint of the big toe is a reliable, barely restricting method of easing the pain and strengthening the foot again. Only few cases require an implantation of so called Spacers or prostheses. The patient should by all means avoid wearing high heels afterwards. Even though there is a potential treatment for arthrosis, the major priority is to take care of the deformity as early as possible.