Hallux Rigidus, also referred to as stiff big toe (or big toe arthritis), occurs because of inflammation of the MTP joint at your big toe’s base. As about 90% of your body’s weight acts on your big toe, it is easy to understand as to why it is affected by the most common type of degenerative arthritis.

Do you experience pain on your big toe when moving your foot? If yes, then you may be having an arthritic condition. Typically, you will experience a sharp or deep achy pain when you use the big toe joint. It will hurt when you try to move your big toe up or down. Moreover, you will tend to use the outside part of your foot when walking so that you don’t have to apply pressure on the big toe. The inflammation of the MTP joint causes the big toe to become stiff. Development of a bone spur further aggravates the pain.

Big Toe Arthritis in Albuquerque

Hallux Rigidus – Causes

Genetics and overuse play a part in the development of big toe arthritis. If you are genetically predisposed to limited joint movement, then arthritis can cause pain as well as decreased joint function. If you have risk factors, you must consult a foot doctor and undergo treatment before getting into the continuous cycle of decreased movement, arthritis, bone spur formation and joint jamming. A single trauma can also cause big toe arthritis and lead to restricted movement, joint pain and reduced joint function.

Hallux Rigidus – How Is It Diagnosed

Physicians at the Foot and Ankle Specialists of New Mexico clinically evaluate the condition through range of motion tests, gait analysis and by going through the history of the pain and symptoms experienced by you. Doctors may call for an x-ray evaluation in order to have an understanding as regards the extent to which joint has narrowed and whether there is bone spur formation.

Onsite CT scanning and MRI may be made use of for examining the condition of the cartilage as well as bone damage, if required. Dedicated foot and ankle CT and MRI enable better testing and diagnosis. They provide more information about your specific condition and the potential treatment options that can be considered.

Hallux Rigidus – Non-surgical Treatment Options

The number of options available for non-surgically treating big toe arthritis is limited. However, some of the therapies that we have found to be helpful and effective for many of our patients are:

  • Wider Shoe Gear: It helps to take off the pressure from the big toe.
  • Stiff-soled Shoes: They have been found to be helpful because they restrict the extent of movement.

Hallux Rigidus – Surgical Options

Though the options are limited, it is better to first try out non-surgical options for Big Toe Arthritis Albuquerque. If they are not helpful to you, then you can consider some of the following effective surgical options that are available:


This is not only the most commonly used surgical procedure, but also the least invasive. It involves cleaning or removal of the spurs and scar tissues from the joint. This enables you to enjoy a greater range of motion. After the surgery, you will have to go through physical therapy sessions so as to facilitate joint movement and also prevent stiffness and scarring. You may recover fast if you undergo this procedure, but if your condition is very severe then this is not recommended.

Hallux Rigidus – Why Should You Partner with Foot and Ankle Specialists of New Mexico for Your Treatment

Foot and Ankle Specialists of New Mexico offers complete care which includes a full spectrum of imaging services for diagnostic purposes consisting of digital x-rays, CT Scan and MRI; conservative treatment; surgery options; and physical therapy for foot and ankle. The implant, a replacement option for big toe arthritis, has been designed and clinically developed with the help of the doctors at Foot and Ankle Specialists of New Mexico. In addition, our doctors have trained many other doctors to perform the same surgery on their patients.

Our advanced technique which consists of the use of a plate for the purpose of fixation and addition of stem cells to the fusion site, if fusion is recommended, enables rapid healing and imparts weight bearing capability to the big toe immediately. After the surgery, other doctors generally may not allow you to exert your body weight on your foot for about 6 to 8 weeks. Moreover, our success rate with this advanced technique is more than 99% with right patient care and follow ups.

We treat patients as family members and provide world class care in our state-of-the-art facility so that you don’t have to go from one place to another for your treatment.

Call us at (505) 219-2940 to schedule a consultation.