The rigid hallux, origins and consequences
Causes of the deformation
More often the rigid hallux appears primitive, without obvious cause. Similarly, there is little or no deviation from the big toe axis. The excess length of the 1st toe (Egyptian forefoot), which can lead to repetitive microtrauma during footwear, is a recognized notion that may justify some indications of shortening of the first radius. Most often, there is no associated deformation of the first radius, like a hallux valgus type; if a hallux valgus is associated with osteoarthritis, we are talking about an arthritic hallux valgus, not rigid hallux.
Consequences of osteoarthritis: pain and stiffness
Pain has 2 origins in rigid hallux:
– The first is the wear of the joint, as in all osteoarthritis; it is a pain in the mobilization of the joint.
– The second cause of pain associated with osteoarthritis is the development of osteophytes (protruding bone growths around the joint, also called “parrot beaks”); these have a predominantly dorsal localisation and sometimes lead to a painful shoes’s wearing conflict with bursitis, as for the bunion of hallux valgus.
Stiffness: its onset is later than pain. Wearing high heels is increasingly difficult… Flat and rigid shoes increasingly sought after!