Pain and swelling around the joint is often indicative of arthritis. There are many treatment options available for arthritis including bracing, injections and surgery. Today I’ll focus on arthritis of the great toe joint or the first MTPJ. This is a chronic condition we see often described as hallux limitus or hallux rigidus. Many times patients have had injuries like turf toe or spraining of the toe joint, however this can be genetic as well. Usually pain presents with activities and often limits patient’s ability to play sports or running. Proper evaluation usually involves an x-ray see x-ray below was a good example of arthritis of the big toe joint.
The picture above shows pretty severe arthritis of the big toe joint. This patient would require fusion of the toe or arthrodesis in order to provide long-term pain relief. This procedure is relatively straightforward usually involves 2 screws and a period of weightbearing in a boot for 6-8 weeks. Patients can return to activities that they did preoperatively with a limitation of inability to wear high heel shoes. There are other procedures available for osteoarthritis of the great toe joint if it is not as severe as the above xray including; opening up the joint space to increase range of motion or just cleaning up the joint. If you currently have great toe pain and live in Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah , or anywhere on the East side like Maple Valley call the Bellevue foot surgery Center division of the Issaquah foot and ankle specialist at 425-391-8666. Our clinic has an onsite surgery center which will save you thousands of dollars versus going to an Outpatient Surgery Center or the hospital.