Hallux Rigidus and Limitus

What is Hallux Rigidus and Limitus?

Hallux Limitus and Hallux Rigidus are arthritic manifestations of the big toe joint. The disease affects both men and women and occurs in people of all ages. This is the most common condition after Hallux Valgus.

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What are the common causes?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease with an unclear cause. Heredity, trauma, biomechanical anomaly or overwork are recognized associated factors.

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What Are the Symptoms?

Stiffness and pain are the first signs of the disease. Hard lumps are also typically seen on the top of the joint. These bony lumps, called osteophytes, can cause discomfort when putting on shoes, make walking painful, and restrict movement of the big toe.

Symptoms worsen over time and can become particularly severe if not treated in time.

How is it Diagnosed?

The physical examination is usually accompanied by an X-ray workup to assess the severity and progression of the disease. Other tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, may sometimes be ordered to help inform the diagnosis.


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When to Consider Surgery?

Conservative treatment consists of adapting the footwear, modifying activities and prescribing foot orthotics.

When these cannot be treated effectively, Hallux limitus must be treated surgically. Surgery is necessary to restore the joint’s full range of motion and eliminate pain.

What Does Surgery Entail?

Cheilectomy is the procedure used to cleanse the osteophytosis around the joint. An osteotomy is sometimes necessary to shorten an excessively long metatarsal or to lower an excessively raised metatarsal.

In advanced cases of Hallux Rigidus, arthrodesis, or the fusion of the big toe joint, is the most effective and lasting treatment. The use of a joint implant may be recommended for more active patients wishing to regain the mobility of their joints. This implant, which carries similar mechanical characteristics to natural cartilage, helps restore anatomy without compromising the natural mobility of the toe.

Hallux Limitus and Rigidus Surgeries Performed at the
Clinique et centre de chirurgie podiatrique de Terrebonne

Key Takeaways

How to Recognize the Condition?

Hallux Limitus and Hallux Rigidus are forms of osteoarthritis of the big toe. They manifest themselves, to varying degrees, with reduced mobility and deformity of the joint.

What Are the Symptoms?

Pain, stiffness, and swelling of the toe are the most common symptoms associated with the disease. The formation of lime deposits (osteophytes) around the joint can cause uncomfortable friction when putting on the footwear.

What Are the Causes?

Osteoarthritis can be the result of hereditary factors, a biomechanical abnormality or certain inflammatory diseases. Sometimes an injury or physical strain is involved.

What Will Surgery Be Like?

When conservative treatment is no longer sufficient, the joint should be cleaned, meaning the excision of the osteophytes, by performing a cheilectomy. Sometimes an osteotomy is necessary to decompress the joint. In advanced cases of the disease (Hallux rigidus), arthrodesis is the preferred surgical technique.

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Our clinic is the first and only podiatric medicine establishment in the province to earn the Accreditation Canada seal, a mark of excellence in the field of healthcare organizations. This certification attests to our compliance with the most demanding standards in terms of healthcare services.

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Ordre des podiatres

Dr. Hobeychi, podiatrist, as well as all of the Clinic's collaborating podiatrists are members of the Ordre des podiatres du Québec. Our nursing assistants are members of the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec.