Arthritic Big Toe


The arthritic big toe is also known as “Hallux Rigidus”.  This disorder happens when the joint at the base of the big toe causes the individual pain or discomfort.  Over time the joint becomes much harder to move.  If left untreated, this condition can become a form of degenerative arthritis which can cause permanent damage to the big toe joint.

Signs and Symptoms:

This condition is often caused by abnormalities of the foot that cause the big toe joint to experience pain.  The abnormalities of the foot can lead to osteoarthritis in the big toes joint, which can result in the normal “wear and tear” of every day foot use. People with fallen arches or excessive rolling of the ankles are much more likely to develop hallux rigidus.  For many people that experience this condition, the condition actually runs in the family genes.  If you have a family member that experiences this type of pain, you will be better prepared to take the appropriate measures to ensure that your prevent hallux rigidus from severely affecting your life.


The sooner you catch this ailment of the foot, the better as far as treatments are concerned.  When you first notice the symptoms of hallux rigidus, it is very imperative that you see your podiatrist right away.  This will allow the podiatrist to be able to determine the severity of the condition while also being able to consult with you on the possible treatments that can be administered.  If hammertoe develops, hammertoe surgery is an option.


Each podiatrist has their own specialized treatment methods, but many podiatrists use these common methods: shoe modification, orthotic devices, medications, injection therapy, and physical therapy treatments.  These common treatments have been effective in helping reduce the pain caused by hallux rigidius.  If you experience any of the symptoms above, please come in and visit Dr. Westermeyer to determine the severity of the condition and to learn about the treatment options available to you.