If you have a stiff big toe caused by arthritis you have what is known as hallux rigidus. This condition occurs when wear and tear to the cartilage in the toe creates a bone spur. The big toe gets a lot of use, and it needs to bend every time you take a step. If it can’t bend because of the bony growth, it can create a lot of pain. This condition usually develops in adults between 30-60 years of age. Most of the noninvasive treatment options are designed only to ease pain. This can include oral medications, contrast baths (alternating hot and cold water), and applying ice to the toe. There are surgical methods that can be very beneficial. Bone spur removal has very high success rates, as do arthrodesis (bone fusion) and arthroplasty (joint replacement).
For more information on treating an arthritic big toe, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule a visit to our Andover, MA office or one of our other two locations.