Hallux rigidus is a problem in when the motion in the big toe or hallux joint of the foot is rigid and is generally connected with osteoarthritis. The great toe joint of the feet are actually quite a crucial joint in the body as it has got to flex so the leg can progress over the foot when walking. If anything blocks the movement at that joint, then forward movement will likely be a lot harder and force will probably be put on other joints that have to flex more as that joint is simply not moving adequately. This could bring about pain in the big toe or hallux joint as well as other joints. In addition, it leads to an unusual wear pattern on the shoes. The chief cause of hallux rigidus is usually a earlier injury to the joint. Over time this sets up a process of abnormal use which results in more damage and osteoarthritis to the joint. Inevitably the restricted movement of the joint is even further limited and the joint becomes rigid with no movement at all.
The simplest way to take care of a Hallux Rigidus is appropriate management of the original trauma with excellent rehabilitation and the use of exercises in order to avoid or slow down the developments of the osteoarthritis. If the joint is painful, then medications and injections into the joint works extremely well for the pain. Using a more rigid sole footwear can often be beneficial as this decreases the demand on the joint to bend. Some footwear can also have a rocker added to them, so that you can pivot over the rocker and don't need to use the joint as much. If these conservative measures aren't helpful, then the next step is surgical. There are many options here. The easiest, if indicated, is to simply remove some bone of the top of the joint to allow it to move more. If that is not feasible, then the joint may be surgically fused to stop it moving. This kind of fusion addresses the symptoms as a result of the osteoarthritis because the joint is unable to flex.