Hallux rigidus is a disorder in which the movement at the big toe or hallux joint of the feet are rigid and is generally connected with osteoarthritis. The large toe joint of the foot is really quite a crucial joint in the body as it needs to bend so the leg can progress over the foot when walking. If something prevents the movement at that joint, then moving forward is going to be a lot more difficult and strain will probably be placed on other joints that have to move more as that joint is not moving enough. This tends to bring about pain in the big toe or hallux joint along with other joints. In addition, it causes an unusual wear pattern on the shoes. The main cause of hallux rigidus is usually a previous injury to the joint. After a while this sets up a process of abnormal use that results in more damage and osteoarthritis to the joint. Eventually the restricted movement of the joint is even more restricted and the joint becomes rigid with no movement at all.
The simplest way to take care of a Hallux Rigidus is appropriate therapy for the original trauma with excellent rehabilitation and the use of exercises to prevent or slow down the developments of the osteoarthritis. When the joint is painful, then medications and injection therapy into the joint can be used for the symptoms. The use of a more rigid sole footwear is frequently useful as this decreases the demand on the joint to flex. Some footwear may also have a rocker added to them, so that you will pivot over the rocker and don't need to use the joint as much. If these conservative approaches aren't helpful, then the next step is surgical. There are several alternatives here. The easiest, if indicated, is to just cut off some bone of the top of the joint to permit it to move more. If that is not feasible, then the joint can be surgically fused to prevent it bending. This kind of fusion deals with the symptoms from the osteoarthritis since the joint can no longer flex.