Hallux Rigidus

What is it?

Hallux rigidus is a disorder of the joint located at the base of the big toe.  ‘Hallux” refers to the big toe, while “rigidus” indicates that the toe is rigid and cannot move.


  • Inflammatory disease such as arthritis (most common) –   The toe’s motion decreases as time goes on. In its earlier stage, motion of the big toe is only somewhat limited, the condition is called hallux limitus. But as the problem advances, the toe’s range of motion gradually decreases until it reaches “rigidus” where the big toe becomes stiff, or what is sometimes called a “frozen joint.”
  • Injury – Hallux rigidus can also result from an injury – even from stubbing your toe.
  • Overuse – Such as workers who often have to stoop or squat
  • Heredity – Hallux rigidus runs in the family and is a result of inheriting a foot type that is prone to developing this condition
  • Long term, poorly managed hallux limitus

How can we help?

  • Educate patients regarding footwear style fit and function
  • Modify footwear to accommodate the rigid joint.
  • Fabricate Custom made orthotics. Orthotics will not reverse the damage that has occurred but they will reduce the amount of stress the affected joint will have to bear.