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Arthritis of the big toe, medically known as hallux rigidus, is a condition caused by wear and tear of the toe joint or an injury that damages the cartilage, causing the bones of the joint to rub together.
If you are suffering from arthritis in your big toe, you may notice pain in the joint when walking or moving, swelling, a bump on the top of the foot, and stiffness in the toe. Arthritis is best treated when caught early, so be sure to see your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
Conservative treatment methods for arthritis in the toe include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Wearing shoes with a larger toe box
If nonsurgical treatments are unsuccessful in relieving pain and restoring function, surgical treatments are also available. Bone fusions are often recommended when severe cartilage damage is present, and toe joint replacements can be helpful to older patients who have few functional demands on the feet.