Have you ever heard of something called Hallux Rigidus? No?  Although I am sure you have had or known someone who has the symptoms of this condition. Hallux Rigidus is the fancy medical name for a stiff big toe!  The common symptoms of this are pain and stiffness of the big toe when taking a step. Swelling may also be present at the base of the big toe. There is usually a loss of motion in the big toe, pain even while not walking, tender to touch and a limp when walking.

There are many causes to this condition which include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, stubbing your big toe or rolling your foot. This is commonly seen in athletes who roll their foot or stub their toe while running and don’t seek proper treatment. Soccer is a very common sport to see this injury in, for all you soccer fans I’m sure you’re familiar with Thierry Henry, imagine if he was dribbling the ball down the field and accidently stubbed his toe on the ground when trying to kick the ball; something this simple could cause this injury and bench him for weeks while it healed!

The treatment for this injury includes rest, ice and Tylenol, but an x-ray is needed to diagnose this condition. Your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Edison and Monroe, NJ can diagnose and treat this condition if you are experiencing these symptoms! After an x-ray has confirmed “stiff big toe” as the condition causing your pain, your doctor will prescribe the proper treatment depending on how bad it is. In mild to moderate cases a steroid injection may be given to help with pain and in severe cases surgery may be required.

by Varun Gujral