Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hallux Limitus

Hallux limitus is a condition that causes a decrease in the range of motion of the joint of the big toe. This condition can cause stiffness and pain. Hallux limitus can be caused by heredity or an inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. It can also be caused by overuse or an injury to the toes or foot. People with fallen arches or have jobs that require excessive squatting are more prone to hallux limitus.

Hallux limitus can be worse during cold or damp weather. It can cause pain or stiffness during activity. Hallux limitus can cause swelling around the affected joint. A doctor should be consulted at the onset of pain and stiffness while walking, bending, or squatting. Early treatment could prevent the need for surgical treatment.

Shoes that are wide and have plenty of room can help reduce the pressure exerted on the feet. Shoes with pointy toes and high heels should be avoided. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can provide some relief of the pain. . It is a progressive condition. If left untreated, hallux limitus leads to hallux rigidus. Hallux rigidus can make the joint immobile.

The physician may prescribe the use of custom-made orthotics for hallux limitus to provide extra support and increase comfort. The doctor may administer corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy may be used to provide some relief. Ultrasound therapy is one form of physical therapy that might be used.

If non-surgical methods do not provide relief from hallux limitus, surgery may be recommended. When diagnosing hallux limitus, the surgeon may manipulate the foot to determine the effects of the disorder. A surgeon may order hallux limitus x-rays to judge the severity of the damage.

The surgeon will consider the age and activity of the patient when determining which surgical can include the removal any bone spurs and damage to the joint. The surgeon will realign the bones of the foot. In more severe cases, surgery may include fusing the joint or the replacement of the joint.


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