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Toe Arthritis: What can you do?
Toe Arthritis: What can you do?

If you have been a long-time follower of our blogs, we expect that by now you would be familiar with some of the different kinds of arthritis. Today we are delving into the wide world of ankle and feet- which are teeny tiny little bones that we expect to bear the weight of our entire bodies for our lifetime.

Some of us are kinder to our bodies than others. While others are simply stuck with what genetics gave us. In today’s blog, we are going to be tackling toe arthritis.

Toe arthritis of MTP

The first metatarsophalangeal ( MTP) joint of the big toe is a common site for osteoarthritis (OA). Early signs of big toe OA at the MTP joint present as tenderness at the joint, stiffness and swelling in the toe. You may also experience diffuse aching in the foot or even a burning sensation over time.


In some cases, bone spurs can develop and cause the joint to lose significant motion. This is also known as hallux rigidus.


In most cases, home treatments such as OTC NSAIDs, cold therapy, home stretches, and proper footwear can all provide temporary relief of symptoms. One of the most successful nonoperative treatment is wearing stiff solid shoes or an insert that stiffness the shoe.

Hallus valgus

If you do not have much relief after a home treatment approach, you and your doctor can discuss more aggressive treatment options. Corticosteroid injections can be administered directly to the affected joint in hopes of reducing the inflammation, easing the pain and swelling, albeit temporarily.


Finally, surgical intervention to fuse the joint, otherwise known as an arthrodesis, may be considered as a next line of care. During an arthrodesis, the joint will be cleaned of arthritic cartilage and fixed into a permanent functional position using plates, screws, pins, or wires.

If you are experiencing pain in the ankle or foot and have tried modifying activities, over the counter medications and changing shoes then reach out to our office. We will get you in and hopefully onto the road to recovery.


Related Physicians

The providers at Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic each have their own areas of specialty. Click on the providers below to read more about them.