Hallux Rigidus Surgery

Experience the highest quality Hallux Rigidus surgery service in Miami with Luxe Foot Surgery. Our state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge surgical equipment ensure a minimally invasive and efficient surgery process. With a highly trained staff dedicated to your well-being and success, Luxe Foot Surgery is committed to providing ethical and professional treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.


$6,000 - 8,000


50 – 60 Min


2 - 3 week


12 months

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What is Hallux Rigidus

What is Hallux Rigidus?

Hallux rigidus is a common foot disorder that affects the big toe joint, causing stiffness and limited mobility. The name comes from the Latin words “hallux,” which means big toe, and “rigidus,” which means rigid. Essentially, this condition causes the big toe to become rigid, making it difficult to move.

The condition is caused by degenerative arthritis, which damages the cartilage that covers the bones of the joint. As a result, the joint space narrows and bone spurs can appear. This can cause pain and discomfort in the affected area.

Hallux rigidus is also referred to as “turf toe” or “big toe arthritis.” It is important to note that this condition can affect anyone, but it is more common in people who engage in activities that put a lot of stress on the big toe joint, such as runners and dancers.

Hallux rigidus anatomy

To understand the impact of Hallux rigidus on the foot, it is important to consider the anatomy of the first metatarsophalangeal joint. This joint is responsible for the movement of the big toe and has two axes of motion: the vertical and the transverse. These axes are crucial for walking and running, as they allow the foot to push off the ground and propel the body forward.

In normal circumstances, the big toe requires around 65-75 degrees of dorsiflexion to function effectively as the final organ of propulsion. However, when Hallux rigidus is present, there is a thickening of the joint capsule, which leads to an alteration of the axis of rotation. This can significantly affect the range of motion of the big toe.

The reduced angles of motion caused by Hallux rigidus can be quite severe, occurring in both the vertical and transverse planes. This limitation can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty when walking or running. If left untreated, Hallux rigidus can lead to further complications, including the development of bone spurs and increased discomfort.

How does Hallux rigidus affect me?

Hallux rigidus can have a significant impact on your daily life, as the mobility of the big toe is essential for many activities such as walking, bending, climbing, and standing. If you are suffering from Hallux rigidus, you may experience limitations in these activities, as well as pain and discomfort in the affected area.

It is important to note that Hallux rigidus is a progressive condition, meaning that it can worsen over time. As the deformity progresses, you may experience increasing limitations and decreased range of motion in your big toe. In severe cases, the big toe may become frozen, making it difficult or even impossible to move.

If conservative treatment methods, such as physical therapy and medication, are not effective, surgery may become necessary. Surgery can help to improve the mobility of the big toe and alleviate pain, allowing you to return to normal activities.

How much does Hallux rigidus surgery cost in Miami​

How much does Hallux rigidus surgery cost in Miami?

The cost of Hallux rigidus surgery in Miami can vary depending on the type of procedure and medical facility chosen. On average, the cost of this surgery ranges from $8,400 to $39,000, with an average cost of $21,800. If the patient requires synthetic cartilage implantation, the prices can range from $5,000 to $74,000, with an average cost of $21,500. It is important to note that the cost of synthetic cartilage implantation is separate from the cost of surgery.

The cost of the surgery may also depend on the surgeon’s fee and the medical facility. Some clinics may offer payment plans to help patients manage the cost of the procedure. If the patient has medical insurance that covers the surgery, the out-of-pocket costs can be significantly lower.

The cost of Hallux rigidus surgery typically includes all necessary elements for the procedure, such as:

  • Operating room reservation and use
  • Preoperative studies, including blood tests, electrocardiogram, and imaging
  • Physician, anesthetist, and assistant fees
  • Postoperative visits
  • Anesthesia and other medical supplies
  • Necessary surgical and prosthetic materials

Does Insurance Cover Hallux Rigidus Surgery?

If you’re dealing with Hallux rigidus, you may be wondering if your insurance will cover the cost of surgery. The answer will depend on your specific insurance plan and coverage.

Many insurance plans do cover Hallux rigidus surgery, but it’s important to check with your provider to determine what costs will be covered. In some cases, insurance may cover the entire cost of the procedure, while in other cases, there may be a copay or deductible that the patient is responsible for.

To find out if your insurance will cover Hallux rigidus surgery, it’s recommended to review your policy documents or contact your insurance provider directly. If you have any questions or need assistance with determining your insurance coverage, our office is here to help. Please feel free to contact us for more details, and we’ll be happy to assist you. With the right care and support, you can find a treatment plan that works for you and improve your quality of life.

How is the procedure for Hallux rigidus surgery?

Hallux rigidus surgery can be performed using various procedures, but the following steps are typically followed:

  1. The patient is prepared to enter the operating room.
  2. The patient is positioned appropriately on the stretcher to allow specialists and assistants to access the joint.
  3. Anesthesia is administered.
  4. An incision is made next to the affected big toe joint.
  5. Access is gained to the first metatarsal bone, where the first metatarsophalangeal joint is located.
  6. Necessary cuts are made in the bone to remove the damaged joint and any bony lumps that have developed.
  7. The affected joint is readjusted, in cases where the joint will be preserved.
  8. Small screws or wires may be installed to ensure the bones heal in the correct position. In some cases, these devices are removed, while in other cases, they are left in place.
  9. The incision is closed with sutures or stitches.
  10. A bandage is applied, which the patient will wear for the first two weeks.

It’s important to note that the specific steps and techniques used during surgery may vary depending on the patient’s condition and the surgeon’s preferences. Before undergoing Hallux rigidus surgery, it’s important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to discuss the most appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.

How long does Hallux rigidus surgery take?

Hallux rigidus surgery typically takes about 1 hour to complete, but patients may need to spend a minimum of 3 hours or more in the hospital on the day of the surgery. This time includes the necessary preoperative legal procedures and patient preparation before entering the operating room, as well as postoperative rest and recovery time.

After the surgery, patients may need to rest and recover in the hospital for a short period of time before being discharged to go home. The length of time required for postoperative recovery may vary depending on the type of surgery and the patient’s individual needs.

Types of Hallux rigidus surgery

Types of Hallux rigidus surgery

Hallux rigidus surgery is typically performed when non-surgical treatment options have failed. There are two main categories of Hallux rigidus surgery: joint-sparing and joint-sacrificing procedures. The type of surgery chosen will depend on the condition of the joint, the patient’s expectations, and their motivation for surgery. Here are some of the most common types of Hallux rigidus surgery:

  1. Cheilectomy: This type of surgery is typically used for mild to moderate joint deformities. The goal is to preserve the joint and maintain its movement and stability. Bone spurs are removed from the joint to alleviate pain, but the procedure does not stop the progression of the disease. Cheilectomy has a low complication rate and is also known as “shaving the big toe.”

  2. Arthrodesis: This type of surgery is performed when the deformity is in an advanced stage, resulting in severe joint damage. The joint is sacrificed by removing the damaged cartilage and fusing both articular bones together with screws, plates, wires, or staples. While arthrodesis eliminates arthritis and pain, the big toe is left without articulation and movement is restricted.

  3. Arthroplasty: Arthroplasty preserves joint movement and is a surgical option that can be performed partially or totally. An implant or prosthesis is installed to restore mobility and flexibility to the finger. Implants come in various designs and materials, but this type of surgery carries a higher risk of complications.

  4. Osteotomy: This type of surgery involves cutting the bone, but not compromising the joint. It is typically performed when the deformity is in the early stages and the goal is to achieve greater dorsiflexion. The biggest disadvantage of this procedure is that it can affect the positioning of the dorsal plate.

If you are considering Hallux rigidus surgery, it’s important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs. For more information, please contact our office and we’ll be happy to help.

How is the recovery from Hallux rigidus surgery​

How is the recovery from Hallux rigidus surgery?

Recovery after surgery for Hallux rigidus is slow. Full recovery usually takes about 12 months. However, at each stage or recovery period, patients can see  the benefits provided by the operation before this time period is over. If the recovery recommendations indicated by the specialist are followed, a good part of the possible complications of this procedure will be avoided. The recovery stages after Hallux rigidus surgery are described below.

First 2 to 3 days of recovery

  • These are the days when you feel the most pain, so the doctor will probably prescribe a plan of analgesics and anti-inflammatories to help reduce discomfort.
  • Absolute rest is recommended, and keep the foot elevated as long as possible so that the swelling decreases.
  • Avoid letting bath water moisten or wet the bandages. For this, it is best to put on a shower bag or special plaster, which protects the bandage and prevents it from getting wet.

First week of recovery

  • The patient will have the first appointment with the specialist to review how the wound healing is going.
  • The bandage is changed for a new one and the wound is cleaned.
  • Some movements can be made with the foot, but avoiding pain. Pain is an indicator that the tissues are being overstressed.

Second week of recovery

  • During the first 2 weeks of recovery, the patient should not support the weight of the body on the foot where the Hallux rigidus surgery was performed.
  • To be able to move without supporting the foot, the patient can use some devices, such as: knee scooter, I-walk, post-surgical boot with heel wedge and Even Up to level the other foot.
  • At the end of the second week of recovery, you will have to go to an appointment with the specialist to have the bandage and stitches removed.
  • From that moment on, you can get your feet wet again and bathe as normal.

From the second to the sixth week of recovery

  • It is normal for the foot to continue to swell at night.
  • From the fourth week to the sixth, the foot will begin to return to normal. You will be able to begin to support the operated foot again to walk, as far as possible.
  • Normal shoes can also be used, as long as the evolution of the surgery allows it.
  • Comfortable shoes (such as sneakers), flat and wide, preferably with laces are recommended. No heels.
  • After the sixth week, you should go to the specialist to do an x-ray to see how the bones are evolving.

From the seventh to the twelfth week of recovery

  • Those patients who have a more sedentary job, which does not require much activity, can be incorporated into their work activities.
  • You should continue to avoid sports, until your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Depending on the evolution and the level of healing of the patients, it is possible that your doctor tells you that you can start driving the car.
  • It is recommended to consult with the car insurance company before starting to drive, to find out if it will cover the expenses or not in case of an accident.

6 months of recovery

  • In the sixth month of recovery, the patient will have another appointment with the specialist to verify the final evolution of the Hallux rigidus surgery.
  • It is time to start enjoying the benefits that surgery has brought back to your life.
  • It will still be normal to feel a slight swelling in the foot.

12 month recovery

  • At the end of 12 months, the patient should be fully recovered and be able to do any activity they want in a normal way.

Hallux rigidus symptoms

Patients with Hallux rigidus describe pain in the big toe and in the joint while performing any activity, especially when taking the first step to walk. Others may have swelling and stiffness in the area around the joint at the base of the big toe. When the deformity is advanced, the inability to move the toe up or down appears. Another symptom is the appearance of a lump that is sometimes confused with a bunion or bone spur, above the joint. Some other symptoms are:

  • Feeling more stiff and sore when the weather is cold and wet.
  • Discomfort when running, walking or standing.
  • Feeling friction in the joint with the use of footwear, especially those with high heels.
  • When the disease is advanced, pain can be felt even at rest.
  • Having to adopt an unnatural posture to be able to walk. Some patients even begin to limp.
  • Feeling pain in the hip, lower back or knee, as a result of having to maintain an incorrect posture to avoid pain.
Inflammation of the heel ligament in women due to shoes - Hallux Rigidus Surgery (Turf Toe or Stiff Big Toe)_Luxe Foot Surgery Center

What are the causes of Hallux rigidus?

The causes of Hallux rigidus deformity are not well understood. However, multiple risk factors have been identified that create a predisposition for the condition, including:

  1. Biomechanical factors, such as foot structures that increase stress on the toe joint or walking posture that leads to the condition.
  2. Injuries that result in recurring blows to the big toe or twisting the joint.
  3. Metabolic disorders, including hyperuricemia, gout, and metabolic arthropathies.
  4. Gender, with women being more commonly affected due to the habit of wearing high-heeled shoes that exert greater pressure on the joint.
  5. Age, with most patients beginning to suffer from the condition in their fourth or fifth decade of life.
  6. Genetic inheritance, with a family history of the condition being a risk factor.
  7. Sports activities that involve load movements and tension on the feet, such as football on artificial turf.
  8. Diseases, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and Hallux valgus.
Hallux rigidus surgery benefits%E2%80%8B

Hallux rigidus surgery benefits

Hallux rigidus surgery can offer several benefits for patients with the condition. While it may not always stop the progression of arthritis, it can provide relief from symptoms and improve mobility. Some of the benefits of Hallux rigidus surgery include:

  1. Improved symptoms caused by the deformity
  2. Reduced pain when walking
  3. Less discomfort during activities
  4. Increased mobility of the big toe (in cases where the joint is preserved)
  5. Removal of bone spurs and painful growths
  6. Improved ability to wear shoes comfortably
  7. Restoration of the ability to exercise and run
Close-up of male flatfoot legs - Hallux Rigidus Surgery (Turf Toe or Stiff Big Toe)_Luxe Foot Surgery Center

Types of Hallux Rigidus according to the predisposing factors

According to the predisposing factors, Hallux rigidus is classified into two large groups: primary and secondary. Patients with primary Hallux rigidus may have factors such as:

  • Having the first metatarsal bone longer than normal, or what is known as the metatarsal index plus formula.
  • Present the longest first or big toe, also known as the Egyptian forefoot.
  • Having a flat foot or pronated foot.

The factors that cause a secondary Hallux rigidus can be the following:

  • Having previously received Hallux valgus surgery.
  • have suffered trauma.
  • Suffering from metabolic or vascular diseases that affect the joint.
  • Have osteochondritis dissecans.
  • Suffering from a previous infection.
Goals of Hallux rigidus surgery​

Goals of Hallux rigidus surgery

The surgery aims to improve the quality of life of patients who have not found relief through non-surgical or conservative treatments and generally have an advanced state of the deformity.

The primary goal of Hallux rigidus surgery is to restore stability to the first metatarsophalangeal joint and improve its functionality, allowing patients to resume walking and other normal activities, including sports. By removing the bony bulge from the big toe, the surgery can also reduce pain and improve the range of motion of the joint.

Other goals of Hallux rigidus surgery may include correcting any deformities in the big toe, realigning the joint, and restoring the natural shape of the toe. The specific goals of the surgery will depend on the severity of the condition, the patient’s age and activity level, and other factors.

Hallux rigidus surgery typically involves removing the damaged cartilage and bone from the affected joint, as well as reshaping the joint to improve its alignment and reduce pain. The surgery may be performed as an open procedure or through minimally invasive techniques, depending on the patient’s specific needs.

Hallux rigidus classification according to the degree or stage of the deformity

Hallux rigidus can also be classified according to the degree of progress of the deformity or the stage in which it is found. Let’s look at how each of the stages or degrees is described.

I degree or stage

It is the first stage, when osteoarthritis in the first metatarsophalangeal joint is just beginning. Patients experience more or less intense painful episodes in the forefoot area. A limitation of joint mobility is also experienced. The pain usually appears while walking, especially on uneven terrain. On X-ray images, a lateral marginal osteophyte appears, but the interlining appears preserved.

II degree or stage

Clinical symptoms are often aggravated. The pain is intermittent and of variable degree. At the time of dorsiflexing the Hallux, it is when patients experience the most pain. Mobility is limited to 50% of normal movement. Due to the postural changes required by the Hallux rigidus deformity, discomfort may appear in other joints. The X-ray images still show the lateral osteophyte, but with a flattening of the metatarsal surface, subchondral sclerosis with a dorsal metatarsal osteophyte, and involvement of the joint line.

III degree or stage

The joint is practically stiff due to an almost total restriction of the mobility of the toe. Although the joint itself does not cause pain, it is caused by associated injuries, such as dorsal bursitis, Hallux hyperkeratosis, flexor longus contracture, and all the biomechanical abnormalities that arise from the deformity. In the X-ray images there is a lack of joint lumen, and marked osteoarticular hypertrophy with dorsal and lateral osteophyte is observed. There is also involvement of the sesamoids and severe deterioration of the interline with superior joint impingement.

IV degree or stage

It is the worst state in which the joint can be. Obvious destruction of the articular surfaces occurs. Severe osteophytosis can be seen on X-ray images.

Diagnosing Hallux Rigidus: What You Need to Know

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with Hallux rigidus, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor can help you make an accurate diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment.

The diagnostic process for Hallux rigidus typically involves the following steps:

  1. A detailed study of the patient’s symptoms, including when they began and how they have progressed over time.
  2. A physical examination of the foot, including moving the affected big toe to determine the extent of movement and level of pain.
  3. An investigation into the possible causes that may have led to or are currently influencing the problem.
  4. Imaging studies such as X-rays or MRI scans to identify bone spurs, assess the degree of degeneration and deformation of the joint space and cartilage, and determine the extent of the deformity.

Based on the type and severity of Hallux rigidus, the doctor may recommend conservative treatments or Hallux rigidus surgery. Conservative treatments can include medications, physical therapy, shoe modifications, and custom orthotics to manage the symptoms and improve mobility. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove bone spurs or repair damaged joint tissue.

Who needs Hallux rigidus surgery

Who needs Hallux rigidus surgery?

Hallux rigidus is a common type of arthritis that affects the big toe joint, with an estimated 2.5% of people over the age of 50 worldwide affected by the condition. It typically appears in adults between the ages of 30 and 60.

Patients with Hallux rigidus who have not improved with conservative treatments, such as medications, physical therapy, or custom orthotics, may be candidates for Hallux rigidus surgery. This is particularly true for those whose deformity continues to progress and impacts their daily activities.

Possible Complications of Hallux Rigidus Surgery

Possible Complications of Hallux Rigidus Surgery

Although Hallux rigidus surgery has a high success rate, it’s not without risk. As with all surgeries, there are possible complications associated with it. Below are some of the most common complications of Hallux rigidus surgery:

  1. Infections: Infections occur in less than 1% of cases after Hallux rigidus surgery. Patients must seek medical attention promptly if there is suspicion of infection, as early treatment is crucial to prevent the infection from spreading. Skin infections are more common, while bone infections are very rare, occurring in only 1 in 2,000 patients.

  2. Continuous pain: Feeling pain during the first few weeks after Hallux rigidus surgery is normal, but sometimes pain may persist, leading to a new type of post-surgical pain. This may be caused by implants that are placed in the foot or other reasons. In these cases, the implants are removed, and further treatments such as injections or shock waves may be applied. If the pain does not subside, a second surgery may be necessary.

  3. Blood clots or thrombosis: Thrombosis or blood clot formation after Hallux rigidus surgery is rare, occurring in only 1% of patients. To prevent such complications, it’s important for patients to inform their healthcare provider if they have a history of blood clots.

  4. Numbness: Mild numbness around the incision is normal for the first few weeks after Hallux rigidus surgery. However, in some cases, numbness may persist for a longer period. This should not impede activity or cause discomfort.

  5. Hypertrophic bone: In some cases, the bone may grow more than necessary during the healing process, resulting in new bone spurs that can be uncomfortable. Patients may require further surgery to remove excess bone growth.

  6. Unfused bone: In rare cases, the bones may not fuse as expected, requiring additional surgery to join them.

  7. Lost or displaced screws: While screws and wires are typically not removed after surgery for Hallux rigidus, they may need to be removed if there is a rejection by the body or other complications.

  8. Delayed healing: Delayed healing may occur in some cases, requiring additional treatment to promote healing.

  9. Prolonged foot swelling: While it is normal for the foot to remain swollen during the healing process, some patients may experience prolonged swelling.

  10. Nerve damage: While nerve damage is rare, it may occur in a small percentage of cases, causing temporary or permanent numbness.

What can I expect from Hallux rigidus surgery?

Before the surgery, the patient will receive local or general anesthesia, depending on the extent of the procedure. The surgeon will then make an incision in the affected area to access the joint. Depending on the degree of the deformity, the surgeon may choose to remove any bone spurs, clean up the joint, or realign the bones. In some cases, the surgeon may fuse the bones to prevent further damage and reduce pain.

After the surgery, the patient will need to follow a strict recovery plan, which may include physical therapy, pain management, and using a walking aid for a period of time. The patient should also avoid strenuous activities or putting weight on the affected foot until the surgeon gives the green light to do so.

Overall, the outcome of Hallux rigidus surgery is generally positive, with most patients experiencing relief from pain and an improved range of motion. However, it is important to note that the recovery period can vary depending on the extent of the surgery and the patient’s overall health.

non-surgical treatments for hallux rigidus

Are there non-surgical treatments for hallux rigidus?

Non-surgical or conservative treatments are the first options for improving the condition of patients with Hallux rigidus, and can be effective in about 60% of cases, potentially avoiding the need for surgery. The best conservative treatment option for each patient depends on the level of joint involvement in their specific case. Here are some examples of non-surgical treatments for Hallux rigidus:

Pharmacotherapy: Pain-relieving drugs, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and swelling. Glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM are over-the-counter options.

Infiltrations: Intra-articular infiltrations, which involve injecting pain medication directly into the joint, can provide relief for the symptoms and pain of Hallux rigidus. Corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid are commonly used for this purpose.

Orthoses: Orthopedic devices, such as rigid insoles or carbon orthoses, can be used to reduce pain and modify plantar support patterns during walking. These devices improve load distribution, reduce the amount of dorsiflexion required, and relieve pain.

Appropriate footwear: Choosing footwear with enough room for the toes, a rigid sole in the shape of a rocker, and no heels can improve symptoms and prevent degenerative arthritis from worsening. Biomechanically appropriate shoes can reduce pressure under the metatarsal heads and prevent the toes from receiving pressure from the walls of the shoe.

Physical therapy: Physical therapy techniques, such as traction exercises, mobilization of the sesamoid complex, and strengthening of the flexor hallucis longus and intrinsic muscles of the foot, can provide temporary relief and improve range of motion and stability of the damaged joint.

Experimental therapy: Extracorporeal therapy with shock waves, iontophoresis, and ultrasound with high frequency waves are experimental therapies that can potentially regenerate skeletal muscle tissue, increase absorption of topical medications, control inflammation, and improve flexibility of soft tissues.

Limiting movement of the big toe: Avoiding high-impact activities and using padding inside the shoe to limit dorsiflexion of the big toe can relieve pain by reducing pressure on the damaged joint.

Overall, non-surgical treatments can be effective in improving the symptoms and condition of patients with Hallux rigidus, and can potentially avoid the need for surgery. The best treatment option for each patient should be determined by their specific case and level of joint involvement.


Frequently Asked Questions From Patients

Our Luxe Foot Surgery patients (as well as people online) ask many frequently asked questions about hallux rigidus surgery. Below we provide answers to these frequently asked questions. If you have any questions that we do not answer here, we invite you to contact our advisors by phone or through our social networks. We will be pleased to assist you.

All Hallux rigidus procedures or types of surgery are performed on an outpatient basis, so patients can go home the same day. Only patients who for health reasons need special care after surgery will stay in the hospital. However, to leave the hospital it is recommended to have a companion who is responsible for helping the recently operated patient. It is even necessary for someone to stay the first 48 postoperative hours at home with the patient.

Thanks to advances in the techniques used for the operation, as well as the development of powerful local anesthetics and pain relievers, patients feel no pain during the surgical procedure. However, it may be normal to feel intense pain the first night after surgery, and even during the second night. The amount of pain a patient may feel is difficult to measure. Some report severe pain and discomfort, while others feel almost nothing. However, the aches and pains will cease as the days go by, and they will be less if the indications for a good postoperative recovery are followed.

The estimated time to return to work after Hallux rigidus surgery is 1 to 2 months after the operation. Depending on the type of work, you can even wait until the third postoperative month. For jobs that are sedentary, the time to return to work may be less than for jobs that require more foot work. Another factor that determines the time to return to work is the speed that each patient takes to recover. Here some issues such as age, bone quality, postoperative care, if there were no complications, healing speed, etc. come into play.

As the causes of Hallux rigidus are still not fully known, a way to prevent it has not been found. However, the progress of the deformity can be attenuated by abandoning the habits that constitute risk factors, as well as carrying out activities that are favorable to the health of the joint. For example:

  • Do not wear shoes that hold the foot tight and have very high heels. If they are used, the time of use should be minimized.
  • Perform stretching exercises that keep the joint mobile.
  • Rest with your foot raised when you feel a lot of pain.
  • Go to the doctor as soon as possible if you feel the symptoms of Hallux rigidus, with the aim of starting treatment.
  • Place pads that limit the movement of the affected big toe.
  • Do not put too much pressure on the first metatarsophalangeal joint.
  • Avoid strong blows that can damage the big toe joint.

Those who suffer from Hallux rigidus can put into practice several home remedies that promote pain relief and the symptoms of said deformity. Among the home remedies we have the following:

  • Putting your foot up : During the day you can put your foot up, and the same to sleep. This prevents inflammation caused by osteoarthritis and improves blood circulation in the area.
  • Rest : Resting the affected foot as much as possible will avoid pressure on the joint, and as a consequence it will relieve pain.
  • Using ice packs : Ice packs or packs can be put on the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes 1 to 3 times a day, preferably at night. This remedy is not valid for patients who have circulation problems.
  • Stretching exercise : The patient can do the calf stretching exercise that we will guide below. You should do this for 1 minute for each foot, at least 2 times a day, as this can relieve big toe arthritis pain. The exercise consists of standing an arm’s length away from the wall, resting the palms of the hands on the wall and taking a bent-legged step forward while keeping the back foot fully extended. The person should stretch forward as far as possible and hold the position of the back foot as long as possible. You should then switch legs and do the same.

Foot baths : Water baths with contrasting temperatures help to alleviate the inflammation caused by Hallux rigidus. The affected foot should be placed in hot water for 30 seconds and immediately transferred to cold water for another 30 seconds. This procedure will make you feel much less pain.

11 Foot bath in warm water relieve inflammation - Hallux Rigidus Surgery (Turf Toe or Stiff Big Toe)_Luxe Foot Surgery Center

  1. The first visit to the doctor after a Hallux rigidus surgery will be at the end of the first week of recovery. Here they will remove the bandage to clean the wound and observe how the scar has evolved. Finally they will put another bandage on you.
  2. The second visit will be at the end of the second week of recovery. At that time, the bandage will be removed and the stitches will be removed from the wound.
  3. Between the third and sixth month after surgery for Hallux rigidus, you should go for a review in which the evolution of the bones will be observed through an image.
  4. At month 12 after surgery, you will have one last appointment with the doctor, during which, if everything has gone well, you will be discharged.

It is important to say that patients should be in contact with the specialist, to clarify any doubts regarding the recovery phases. They should also request an appointment if they suspect they are experiencing any of the types of complications that we saw above.

After surgery for Hallux rigidus, correct treatment for stiff toes is important. A few days after the operation, the mobilization of the toes should be performed. They should be smooth but constant movements. When the toes are very stiff, intense physiotherapy treatment is recommended to regain mobility. Before prescribing this treatment, the specialist will verify the degree of involvement and mobility of the same.

The operation is performed with the use of local anesthesia, which is given as injections around the ankle and behind the knee. The objective is to numb the deepest nerves, and thus avoid the pain that Hallux rigidus surgery can cause. Local anesthesia allows patients to remain awake during the procedure, but without feeling any pain. This type of anesthesia also has the advantage that the patient can eat normally until the time of surgery.

After Hallux rigidus surgery, patients return home with a medication plan designed to prevent pain, inflammation, nausea, blood clots, constipation, and other problems that may arise. The plans are personalized and adapted to the needs and health conditions of each patient. Because of this, what is prescribed for some will not work for others. Some of the most common medications are:

Ibuprofen : 600 mg every 6 hours for 3 days, to avoid pain.

Tylenol : 650 mg every 6 hours for 3 days, to avoid pain.

Oxycodone : From 5 to 15 tablets of oxycodone, to avoid pain when it is very intense.

Zofran : 4 mg every 8 hours, only if necessary, to avoid nausea.

Colace : 100 mg 3 times a day, to avoid constipation that anesthesia and opioids can cause.

Calcium Citrate : Daily intake of 1000 to 1200 mg for the first 3 months after surgery, for bone health.

Vitamin D3 : Daily intake of 1000 to 1200 IU during the first 3 months after surgery, for bone health.

Aspirin : 325 mg daily for 2-3 weeks, to prevent blood clots. If you have a predisposition or a family history of clots, more specialized medications will be prescribed.

12 Radiologist showing an x-ray of a foot to a patient in the clinic - Hallux Rigidus Surgery (Turf Toe or Stiff Big Toe)_Luxe Foot Surgery Center

It is normal to feel a throbbing pain for the first few days, but it can be managed with pain relievers. It is also normal to have a swollen foot, for which anti-inflammatories are prescribed. The patient should have the foot elevated and place ice packs. You may experience some tenderness in the area, which persists for several weeks. It is also normal for bruises to appear that move towards the toes that have not been operated on, which may show changes in their coloration. Some discharge is also considered normal.

In any case, the patient must be attentive to their symptoms, and if they notice any abnormality (such as a lot of pain, abundant drainage or unusual inflammation), they must contact the clinic immediately, so that the specialist can carry out the necessary measures. relevant evidence.

Hallux rigidus is degenerative arthritis of the first metatarsal joint. That is why, as long as it is not treated, the deformity will continue to develop, and with the passage of time the mobility conditions will worsen. When Hallux rigidus is not treated, either by conservative or surgical methods, the disorder will continue to progress until it reaches the maximum stage of immobility and rigidity. This causes a lot of pain and prevents patients from walking normally, thus limiting their quality of life and activities.

Untreated hallux rigidus can cause lameness and pain in the knee, hip or lower back, as well as discomfort when standing and walking.

Depending on the type of surgery that has been performed, Hallux rigidus may or may not disappear. For example, if the Hallux rigidus type of surgery preserves the joint, the damage and deformity may continue to evolve after the operation. On the other hand, if the type of surgery removes or suppresses the damaged joint, Hallux rigidus will completely disappear after surgery, but with the consequence that the finger will be completely fused and without mobility.

Many people tend to confuse Hallux rigidus with Hallux valgus. Although both conditions are deformities or disorders of the big toe, Hallux rigidus and Hallux valgus have different causes, manifestations, and developments, so they are not the same. Perhaps this confusion is due to the fact that Hallux valgus, in some cases, is a risk factor that can lead to Hallux rigidus. But this does not determine that both pathologies are the same.

Hallux valgus is also known as a bunion, and is the most common disorder of the big toe. It is due to displacement and misalignment of the bones that make up the first metatarsal joint. This causes the tip of the big toe to droop toward the second toe and the long metatarsal bone to droop toward the inside of the foot.

Instead, Hallux rigidus is the second most frequent condition of the big toe. It consists of degenerative and progressive osteoarthritis of the first metatarsal joint. Hallux rigidus is also known as osteoarthritis of the big toe. It produces pain and loss of mobility of the joint and the big toe as the deformity progresses.

  1. Kunnasegaran R, Thevendran G. Hallux Rigidus: Nonoperative Treatment and Orthotics. Foot Ankle Clin. 2015 Sep;20(3):401-12. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26320555
  2. Mann RA. Disorders of the First Metatarsophalangeal Joint. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1995 Jan;3(1):34-43. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10790651
  3. Lam A, Chan JJ, Surace MF, Vulcano E. Hallux rigidus: How do I approach it? World J Orthop. 2017 May 18;8(5):364-371. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434342/
  4. Coughlin MJ, Shurnas PS. Hallux rigidus: demographics, etiology, and radiographic assessment. Foot Ankle Int. 2003 Oct;24(10):731-43. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14587987/
  5. Aaron Lam, Jimmy J Chan, Michele F Surace, and Ettore Vulcano. “Hallux rigidus: How do I approach it?” World Journal of Orthopedics, Vol 8, No 5 (2017), pp. 364-371. doi: https://doi.org/10.5312/wjo.v8.i5.364

  6. Gould, N., Schneider, W., & Ashikaga, T. “Epidemiological survey of foot problems in the continental United States: 1978-1979.” Foot & Ankle, Vol 1, No 1 (1980), pp. 8-10. PMID: 6115797 – DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/107110078000100104

  7. Smyth, N. A., Krishnan, V., & Aiyer, A. A. “Consumer Prices for Surgical Management of End-Stage Hallux Rigidus.” Foot & Ankle Specialist, Vol 12, No 6 (2019), pp. 495-500. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1938640019846966

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