Treatment Options for Pain in the Big Toe Joint
If the condition is treated before the arthritic process can start, conservative options can be very effective. Custom orthotics are critical in maintaining a normal functioning big toe joint, which will prevent inflammation from developing in and around the joint and stop the arthritic process from progressing. Oral and topical anti-inflammatory medication as well as cortisone injections can help reduce the discomfort temporarily, but without addressing the cause of the problem, the overall instability of the foot and big toe joint, the condition will only progress.
Once the joint has become arthritic, bone spurs form at the top of the joint, further limiting motion. The joint space becomes more narrow and the cartilage erodes away, so any motion you still have can be very painful. When motion at the joint becomes limited, it is called Hallux Limitus, or Hallux Rigidus. At this point surgical intervention may be necessary. Surgery may be as simple as removing the bone spurs and cleaning up the joint, or a more involved procedure may be needed, such as a total joint implant (like a total knee, but smaller), or a fusion of the joint to eliminate all painful motion. Regardless of the necessary procedure, patients are usually more comfortable almost right away. The procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and the patient is walking right away in a surgical shoe or boot. After a short time, they are on their way back to their active lifestyle.
Schedule an Appointment
Ultimately, a consultation with one of the doctors at Kansas City Foot and Ankle can help determine the best treatment options for you. If you are struggling with pain in the big toe joint, please call our office to set up an appointment. We will be able to help treat your condition, and get you back to your activities quickly and comfortably.