Hallux Limitus is an arthritic condition that inhibits the movement and function of the big toe, also known as hallux. The condition affects the upward motion of the toe. When arthritis starts to develop, a bump or bony spur appears on the joint. This weakens the cartilage and results in pain.
There are numerous causes of hallux limitus, including:
Elevated first metatarsal bone
Overuse or injury, such as a fracture of the big toe joint
Chronic inflammatory diseases such as gout
Abnormal length of the second metatarsal bone
Individuals suffering from hallux limits typically report pain and a “grinding” feeling at the base of the big toe joint. The big toe will also feel stiff, with a limited range of motion. Finally, swelling and inflammation at the top of the toe will make it difficult to wear shoes, and can change their normal walking gait (leading to out-toeing).
Conservative treatments may consist of the RICE method, stretching the big toe, using orthotics devices, taking NSAIDs, or corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation at the joint. Severe cases may be treated through surgery.