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Do you suffer from a Stiff Big Toe?

October 1, 2019

Do you suffer from a Stiff Big Toe?

Do you suffer from a Stiff Big Toe or Bunion?

Painful big toe joints are a common foot disorder and people often suffer unnecessarily for years, avoiding treatment that historically has earned a poor reputation, causing extreme pain or failed results. 

Mr Stefan Edwards, Podiatric Surgeon, explains, “I specialise in forefoot reconstruction and  commonly treat patients who suffer from bunions or a painful stiff big toe joints, (Hallux Limitus/Rigidus )

A bunion begins with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angles of the affected bones, slowly producing the characteristic bump that becomes increasingly prominent.

Symptoms can include pain, irritation within footwear, inflammation, burning sensations or numbness, pain at the ball of the foot, arch cramping, mid foot pain and infection.

A painful reduction in big toe movement (Hallux Limitus) or a painful stiffened big toe joint (Hallux Rigidus) is usually caused by damage to the articular surface (hyaline cartilage) of the big toe joint - the 1st Metatarso-Phalangeal Joint (MPJ). 

This can be caused by wear and tear (osteoarthritis), a genetic pre-disposition, trauma, inflammatory diseases e.g. gout or rheumatoid arthritis. 

There’s a variety of surgical procedures available. The procedures are designed to remove the bump of bone, correct the changes in the bony structure of the foot and correct soft tissue changes that may also have occurred.

The length of the recovery period will vary, depending factors including the extent of your deformity, x-ray findings, age and activity level.

The majority of my patients return to weight-bearing activity 3 to 4 weeks post-operative, with no need for the use of general anaesthetic, hospitalisation or casting. They also report post-operative discomfort rather than pain that resolves 48 hours after their surgery. 

If you do have any questions relating to your bunion or foot problem, please feel free to contact my rooms or contact us through our website www.footcentre.co.nz and we will do our best to help.

By Stefan R. Edwards FNZCPS