Hallux Limitus/Rigidus Surgery

Diagnosis of Hallux Limitus or Hallus Rigidus – Big toe joint pain

X-ray and physical exam are used to determine the stage of the disease.

There will usually be extra bone growth on the top or side of the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint (Big Toe Joint).

Symptoms of Hallux Limitus or Hallux Rigidus

Pain with activities at the big toe joint.

Pain with range of motion.

Decreased range of motion at the join.

Shoes hurt when they press on the bump.

Swelling a the big toe joint.

Conservative Treatment of Hallux Limitus or Hallus Rigidus

Orthotics can be used to decrease pain.

A rigid insole can help (see below).

Most people feel very comfortable in a hiking boot or a rocker-bottom shoe.

Steroid injections can help relieve pain and inflammation.

Surgical Treatment of Hallux Limitus/Rigidus in Orange County

There are various surgical options to pick from when dealing with hallux limitus.
The choice is based on patient age and severity of the deformity.

A simple option can be to clean up the joint. It is sometimes referred to as a simple cheilectomy. After surgery, you will have more range of motion. It is very important to start physical therapy after surgery. If motion is not maintained, the joint will freeze up and you will have the same lack of motion as before. The surgical technique is seen in the video below.

Another surgical option is to fuse the big toe joint. With no motion, there is no pain. This procedure takes a few months to heal.

I prefer to clean up the joint. It is a much quicker recovery for the patient. You are walking right away. After about 3 weeks, all activities can be resumed. The joint remains swollen and sore for a few months, but feels much better. I find that the worse the joint looks, the better the results with just a simple clean up.

If the cleaning up procedure does not work to relieve pain, fusion is always an option. There are no losses when trying to clean up the joint.

Joint replacement is another option in 1st metatarsophalangeal joint arthritis. The Cartiva Joint replacement allows for a good result and minimal pain.

For a surgical consult, please contact Dr. Kolodenker in Orange County 949-651-1202

Painful arthritis at the big toe joint before corrective surgery. Uneven edges, scar tissue and joint damage seen. Painful arthritis at the big toe joint before corrective surgery. Uneven edges, scar tissue and joint damage seen.
Painful big toe joint pain relieved after cheilectomy. The joint is more rounded and functions more comfortably. Painful big toe joint pain relieved after cheilectomy. The joint is more rounded and functions more comfortably.
Bunion – Joint is nice and clean with wide space Bunion – Joint is nice and clean with wide space
Hallux Limitus – Joint arthritis is seen Hallux Limitus – Joint arthritis is seen
Side view of bone spurs before surgery Side view of bone spurs before surgery

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