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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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hallux Rigidus

Hallux rigidus impairs the mobility of the joint of the big toe. It commonly starts with stiffness and pain in the toe joint. Hallux rigidus is a progressive disorder. Someone with hallux rigidus may lose the ability to move the effected joint. This is called a “frozen joint.”

Hallux rigidus is a kind of degenerative arthritis. People with fallen arches are prone to this condition. Hallux rigidus may be caused by injury to the toes or foot or by diseases that cause inflammation of the joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. Pronation of the foot and ankle can make a person susceptible to hallux rigidus.

Hallux rigidus begins as pain and stiffness in the toe joint while walking or bending. At the onset of this condition, the person has limited range of motion, but still has some movement. This condition with limited motion of the joint is called hallux limitus. With hallux limitus, they may have pain or stiffness when the weather is cold and damp or when doing activities that exert pressure on the ball of the foot. Hallux limitus may cause swelling and inflammation around the affected joint.

As the condition progresses, the person develops hallux rigidus. Hallux rigidus causes pain and stiffness in the joint of big toe even while resting. Someone with hallux rigidus may experience problems wearing shoes, especially high heels. It may cause a limp. As the person alters the way they walk in order to reduce the pain and stiffness, they may develop muscle pain in the legs and hips.

Noninvasive treatment starts with wearing shoes that have roomy toe boxes, the area of the shoe that surrounds the toes. Shoes with pointy toes and high heels should be avoided. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may provide some relief from the pain. A physician may recommend some vitamin or mineral supplements.

Someone with hallux rigidus should consult a doctor to discuss treatment options. Corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy methods may be used. If noninvasive treatment methods fail to provide relief, surgery may be necessary.


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