Hallux Limitus

What is it?

Hallux limitus refers to a stiff big toe joint. It is a condition that is characterized by decreased range of motion and pain at the big toe joint. The decreased range of motion that causes hallux limitus is a common occurrence, however  often not recognized until the big toe becomes painful. Some of the symptoms may include: pain in the big toe joint, a bony enlargement or bump at the top of the big toe joint, callus on the side of the big toe, out-toeing gait, joint space narrowing of the big toe joint.

There are 2 types:

1. Functional hallux limitus is characterized by a lack of motion of the first metatarsophalangeal (MPJ) joint during gait only.

2. Structural hallux limitus is characterized by structural changes of this joint that prevent normal motion from occurring both during gait and when non-weight bearing.


  • Poor biomechanics
  • Injury to the joint
  • Infection of the joint
  • Arthritis


How can we help?

  • Perform biomechanical gait analysis
  • Educate patients regarding appropriate footwear – fit, function and support
  • Modify footwear to treat the condition
  • Fabricate custom made orthotics with forefoot modifications as required