What is Hallux Limitus?
Believe it or not, your big toe is one of the most important parts of your body because it provides propulsive force when you walk or run. A healthy and injury-free big toe should possess approximately 50 to 90 degrees of extension or dorsiflexion. When this motion is severely limited, it is referred to by the Latin term, “hallux limitus”. Over time, this condition can affect other parts of your body, such as the joints and tissues of the lower extremities due to the increased strain on these structures by way of overcompensation while walking or running. We have listed some of the causes, symptoms and treatment options for hallux limitus below:
Hallux limitus is often considered to be ‘idiopathic’, or caused by unknown factors. However, there are certain known factors that contribute to this health problem. Some possible causes of hallux limitus include:
- Gout, Rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory diseases
- Faulty foot biomechanics
- Connective-tissue disorders
If you have hallux limitus, you may experience the following:
- Pain and stiffness while moving the big toe
- Pain and stiffness of the great toe experienced during cold or damp weather
- Pain in the affected area while walking, running and/or squatting
- Swelling and inflammation in or around your first MTP joint
- Pain in other lower extremities and/or the lower back
- Cramping in the foot and legs may also occur
There are non-surgical treatments that have been proven to reduce symptoms in mild to moderate cases of hallux limitus. Some of these treatment options include:
- Physical Therapy
- Daily stretches
- Topical pain relievers
- Shoes with a wide toe box that allow toes to splay properly
- Injection therapy
It is important to note that the extent to which non-surgical treatments can alleviate the symptoms of hallux rigidus is dependent on the ability to move manually move the big toe upward (dorsiflexion) and away from the second toe (abduction). Non-surgical treatments may not be effective if these movements are significantly restricted. If symptoms continue and/or worsen, please make an appointment with us as soon as possible.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HALLUX LIMITUS TREATMENTS, CONTACT WARNER ORTHOPEDICS & WELLNESS TODAY!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Meredith Warner is a board certified, Fellowship Trained Foot and Ankle, Orthopedic surgeon practicing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Warner is committed to offering her patients an accurate diagnosis along with a comprehensive treatment plan in order to get them back to a pain free life. Dr. Meredith Warner specializes in the treatment of orthopedic issues, providing operative and non-operative treatment plans of orthopedic problems, including musculoskeletal pain such as chronic back, neck and foot pain, reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, arthritis, diabetic, hammer toe, bunion, wound care, work injuries, fitness and nutrition and osteoporosis issues.