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Start of Hallux Limitus?

Discussion in 'Ask your questions here' started by Randi_Catsq, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Randi_Catsq

    Randi_Catsq New Member

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    Good Morning everyone,

    I saw a podiatrist for the first time about 2 months ago. I had been having slight pain in my big toe joint/ball of foot. The main reason I went to the doctor was not because of pain (it is slight) but because I have a family history of very bad feet (bunions, hammertoes, etc.) so wanted to get ahead of it if that was happening.

    X-rays were taken, and I believe nothing significant was seen. With that being said, the Doctor said he suspected Hallux Limitus and prescribed me a walking boot for 4-6 weeks. I went back to the Doctor 5 weeks later with slight improvement but not much. Sometimes the toe would hurt even in the boot (if weight was put on the joint). At this point, he ordered an MRI (potentially thinking sesamoiditis). The MRI (and radiologists report) came back with NO evidence of sesamoiditis but showed mild arthritis in the big toe joint as well as bone marrow edema.

    The podiatrist says this points to hallux limitus. My question is: can this be hallux limitus when I don't have loss of range of motion in the joint? Does it start with just pain and then progresses to loss of motion? It does't sound like he saw any spurs on the x-ray either.

    The pain is not severe (more of an ache every now and then). It seems to be the worst after walking, once I sit down, it throbs. If I put pressure on the joint and then move my toe, I can illicit pain. I have orthotics I am using but the doctor said with only being 24 years old, it will most likely just get worse. He said as far as surgical options (when and if I am ready for that), they can fuse it or they can replace the broken down cartilage with an allograft. I am not making any decisions right now and getting a second opinion next week but was just curious. Thanks!
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Active Member

    Its a terminology thing.
    Technically: hallux limitus = limited range of motion
    Hallux rigidus = rigid or no range of motion (some people use hallux rigidus and limitus interchangeably)
    Some use the term hallux limitus and rigidus synonymously with osteoarthritis.
    Osteoarthritis can cause hallux limitus, but a number of other things can cause hallux limitus
    Similarly, the pain in the joint could be due to any number of other things that may or may not be related to hallux limitus
  3. Reply

    Reply Guest

    I think my question was more: can you have arthritis in the big toe joint without it being hallucinating limited (since the MRI confirmed arthritis)? Or will any arthritis in the toe joint, eventually result in loss of motion.
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Active Member

    Yes, it can be osteoarthritis with no limited motion.
    Yes, the OA can eventually cause a limitation
  5. poddoc

    poddoc Guest

    There's a condition called functional hallux limitus where there is plenty of motion when non weight bearing, but standing it's really hard to bend the toe up. When you try to bend the toe with normal walking it causes compression in the joint and this creates the pain. Try rigid shoes that don't try to bend the toe. Try shoes with rocker tip, that roll forward without bending the toe.

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