Why Does My Big Toe Joint Hurt When I Walk On it? (Part 2)

A few blogs back, we talked about the horror, the horror, of the painful big toe joint, or Hallux Rigidus.  There are those who stagger into my NYC podiatry office with a painful bunion, and the deformity is obvious, while there are those who limp in with a deformity that is, shall we say, subtle and sublime.  For those who suffer from pain in a big toe joint that is straighter than George Clooney on vacation, and are curious about surgical treatment options, this blog’s for you.

As with many foot and ankle deformities, the severity of big toe joint arthritis and cartilage degeneration can be broken down into four stages, from a painful joint that appears healthy on X-ray to a completely stiff joint in which the cartilage has been entirely worn away.  And staging the level of arthritis is very helpful in determining the best surgical treatment option, along with the health, age, lifestyle and expectations of each individual patient.  In the early stages, procedures such as a metatarsal osteotomy, or cutting and repositioning the long bone near the big toe, can increase the efficiency of motion within the joint.  A more advanced level of cartilage and bone degeneration may benefit from a joint replacement, in which, just like a knee or hip, a titanium implant is placed on one of the joint surfaces to eliminate the bone to bone grinding and friction that is often the source of pain.  And a severely arthritic joint is amenable to surgical fusion, which involves removing the remaining cartilage and locking the joint in place, thus permanently eliminating arthritis pain.  Despite how it sounds, even after a fusion patients can regain full activity and quality of life, and participate in almost any type of exercise.

The good news is that the materials and procedures get better every year. Surgical procedures for the treatment of Hallux Rigidus are some of my most gratifying procedures, as NYC podiatry patients with a painful big toe joint can go from preoperative pain so severe that the act of putting on shoes is painful to complete resolution of pain postoperatively and resumption of almost all activity.

So if your big toe joint is painful and stiff, don’t worry that you’ve waited too long to see a NYC podiatrist.  It’s never too late to explore the many surgical and non-surgical treatment options that can relieve your pain and restore your quality of life.

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson

Ernest Isaacson Dr. Ernest Isaacson is a graduate of the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. After completing two years of comprehensive training in various medical specialties including internal medicine, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, vascular surgery, plastic surgery and podiatric medicine, Dr. Isaacson completed a comprehensive one-year podiatric surgical residency. Dr. Isaacson is active in research and publication in basic and clinical science. Dr. Isaacson is also a dedicated family man who enjoys running, reading and spending time with his family.

You Might Also Enjoy...

When Should I Get Bunion Surgery?

Here’s a question I get pretty often: why feet?  And I answer, because I love feet. And usually I’ll add a comment about how it’s a good thing I’m not a gastroenterologist or a urologist or something along those lines.

Heal the Heel

Ok kids time for a little word association. Tell me the first thing you think of when I say - plantar fasciitis. If it starts with an F no need to articulate the sentiment, but you might want to read on.

And I Thank You

Shocking, yet not surprising, the year is coming to a close and it’s already time to shop bargains on turkey and squash.

Why You Should Call Your Podiatrist (even after hours)

It’s relatively late at night in the city as I write this, and many of my dear Manhattan podiatry patients may be wondering what it is I’m doing at this late hour, other than filling the annals of this most holy and sacred blog with more consecrated verbia

Heal Thyself

Summer’s over now kids, although if you’re like me summer is just winter with heat. Still, I do get a little pit in my stomach as Labor Day looms large on the calendar and the waning days of summer transform into the crisp breezes of autumn, and other line