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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Could my toe pain be arthritis?

10/08/2007

Question:

For approx 2 years I have had hot pain that shoots through big toe joint when I have been walking for some time, more recently it has become a daily occurrence and the area between the two joints is raised and feels quite hard. The joint is quite red but not hot, I have recently had a baby (6 mths ago)and wondered if the increase in pain has anything to do with that or could it be osteoarthritis?

Answer:

It sounds like a condition called hallux limitus or hallux rigitus which simple means that the range of motion in the big toe joint is either "limited" or the joint is "rigid". These are both conditions that may respond to conservative therapy such as shoe inserts/arch supports or shoe modifications that are modified to accommodate for the loss of motion. Many times it does require surgical intervention somewhere down the road, but keep in mind that the same mechanical influences that caused it in the first place will still be present so even after surgery arch supports/shoe inserts to control motion may be needed. An examination by a podiatrist or other foot care specialist should help determine what your options are at this time.

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Response by:

Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University