Hallux rigidus (stiff big toe) is a form of degenerative arthritis which causes pain and stiffness at the base of the big toe. Over time, the progressive condition can cause the toe to become rigid and unable to move.
Hallux rigidus is commonly caused by structural abnormalities and faulty function of the foot that can lead to osteoarthritis of the big toe joint. Hallux rigidus can also be the result of an inherited foot type that is prone to developing the condition. Overuse and injury can also cause the condition..
Hallux rigidus is often confused with a bunion which affects the same joint. However, the symptoms are characteristic of arthritis and include:
- Pain and stiffness in the big toe joint that becomes more pronounced by cold and damp weather
- Swelling and inflammation around the join
- Difficulty walking, running and squatting
- Difficulty wearing shoes as bone spurs develop
- Radiating pain in the hip, knee or lower back